"And He said, 'A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.' So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.'" -Luke 15:11-13 (NASB)
"And in fact, you do love all of God's family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody." - I Thessalonians 4:10-12 (NIV)
Sometimes the removal of people from our lives is a gradual process. We move away from where we live. We get a new job. We begin to pursue other interests. We stay in touch for a while, then these relationships from our old places and old interests fade away. Other times the removal of people from our lives is more abrupt. Some event precipitates a situation that pushes us away from another person or group of people.
Whether it seems to be our choice or the choice of another person, people enter our lives and leave again as part of God's plan. When this happens, we have to accept God's will and His plan for who can be part of our lives. Sometimes it is easy for us to let people go, but other times it can be a struggle. Sometimes we feel the urge to chase after people that God has removed from our lives. Remember that we need to trust God and the plan for who God gives us in our lives.
We need to treat all people with respect and love, just like we would like to be treated (Matthew 7:12). However, that doesn't mean that we allow other people to control our lives or influence our actions. Nor should we control another person. We should mind our own business, work for God, and allow our lives to serve as examples for those around us (I Thessalonians 4:10-12). God will give us those individuals that we need to have in our lives.
If someone is removed from our lives, we should not chase after that person. Jesus told the parable of the "Prodigal Son" and we often look at that parable in order to see the never ending love of Our Father. However, we can also learn another lesson from the parable. In the story of the prodigal son, the father did not chase after his son. He knew that the son was making a poor decision, but he allowed the son to make the decision. The father was available to his son and full of love for his son, but he did not pursue his son. He did not try to make it work with his son and he did not lecture his son about the poor decisions he was making. The father let his son go. In other words, "God sometimes removes people from your life to protect you. Don't run after them! -Anonymous."
We need to remember that God is in control and that He has plans to make us prosper. The people in our lives are part of this greater plan. Whenever you are faced with losing someone, with God removing a person from your life, let go and trust God. Don't run after that person, but continue to practice sharing God's love. If God brings the person back into your life later, be ready with open arms and love, just like the father of the prodigal son!
Thank You for having a plan for my life. Please help me to accept Your plan for my life and the people that You place in my life and those that You remove from my life. Allow me to trust and let go and not chase after those that You have temporarily or permanently removed from my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.