Separation occurs every day of our lives, for brief and uneventful spells of time, to long or more permanent situations. You go to work and separate from kids and family for a few hours; kids mourn the loss of a beloved pet, subsequently buried in the back yard; boys and girls are heartbroken, as their summer love leaves to go back up north, or down south, where school and their permanent home awaits and every day, people say goodbye to family members and friends, because of the separation realized in death. Paul in the Philippians letter speaks to our anxieties with regard to separation on a larger more permanent scale and also with regard to our personal lives.
In chapter 1 from verse 12, we realize Paul is in prison, separated from the community of “physically” free believers. Yet instead of bemoaning the situation, Paul sees it as an opportunity to share the message of Christ to the palace/praetorian guards. As he continues, he mentions in verse 19
that separations really should not carry much weight of anxiety. To be with the Philippians would be great, but even if he were to be killed, separated from them physically, he would be at home with the lord.
In chapter 2:1-4, Paul touches on the need to separate ourselves from our selfish interests’; to esteem others better andgive up self satisfaction and self-pleasing motives. To add vigor to the point, Paul introduces Christ, who separated from the Godhead and the splendor of heaven, to become a humble servant, for the benefit of the whole world.
There’s meaning in separation : the parents who go out to work, being separated from their kids for a few hrs, have a chance to earn funds for food, clothing and shelter ;the kids who have their hearts broken because their summer loves return home, learn how to value true love and many learn not to take it for granted later in life ; the kids who buried their family pet realize life in transitory and learn how to deal with the beginnings of grief and trials early on ; the apostle
Paul then illustrates that to the Christian looking heavenward, separation is nothing more that another brick in the path laid to glory.
Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)…..For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.