Many people assume that distance hinders relationships and that being close to your loved one is the only way to real happiness. However, absence makes the heart fonder, some say, but try telling that to those who break up because they find it too draining to maintain long distance relationships.
Either way, the statements are correct. It is imperative that lovers – married or otherwise – spend time apart. The length of time determines whether you are in a “do” or a “die” kind situation. If it is too short, there might not be enough time to be fonder, but if it is too long, there might be enough time to grow fonder, and then get weaned off it.
When two people spend too much time together, there is a danger of taking each other for granted. They get comfortable in their roles and those of their partners, sort of like a synchronised life; taking out the trash, cleaning, cooking…
Jesus told his disciples in John 16: “But now I am going to Him, who sent me. Do not ask me where I am going. Though you are filled with grief… but very truly I tell you; it is for your good that I am going away.” It is after the departure of Jesus that the disciples started to perform miracles. In fact, that was the time when they started fasting and preaching the Gospel.
When one is away their partner learns to appreciate what the other person used to do. They learn that brewing the perfect cuppa is not just a matter of mixing water, milk and tea leaves in a jar. But if the preferred tea maker stays away too long, the other might get enough time to learn how to make that perfect brew and stop needing them altogether.
Yes, every relationship needs to be tested by time and distance. For married couples, this may sound like a recipe for disaster; that spending time apart gives partners a chance to do what they are unable to do when they are together.
Same thing applies to our relationship with God. There have been difficult times in our lives when God seems silent. It is during this time – when God has gone for a vacation – when we think we need Him the most. God is usually far from us when we are faced with trials. And we may conclude that God is being unfair, however, He is doing it for our own good.