A couple of days ago a couple of friends sent me pretty much the same email at pretty much the same time. Both thought I would benefit from a reflection written by Charles Spurgeon. It was, indeed, the right word at the right time. Here it is, modernized through the pen of Alistair Begg.
O death! Why do you touch the tree beneath whose spreading branches weariness finds rest? Why do you snatch away the excellent of the earth, in whom is all our delight? If you must use your axe, use it upon the trees that yield no fruit; then you may be thanked. But why will you chop down the best trees? Hold your axe, and spare the righteous. But no, it must not be; death strikes the best of our friends; the most generous, the most prayerful, the most holy, the most devoted must die. And why? It is through Jesus’ prevailing prayer—”Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.” It is that which bears them on eagle’s wings to heaven. Every time a believer moves from this earth to paradise, it is an answer to Christ’s prayer. A good old divine remarks, “Many times Jesus and His people pull against one another in prayer. You bend your knee in prayer and say ‘Father, I desire that Your saints be with me where I am’; Christ says, ‘Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.’” In this way the disciple is at cross-purposes with his Lord. The soul cannot be in both places: The beloved one cannot be with Christ and with you too. Now, which of the two who plead shall win the day? If you had your choice, if the King should step from His throne and say, “Here are two supplicants praying in opposition to one another,” which shall be answered? Oh, I am sure, though it were agony, you would jump to your feet and say, “Jesus, not my will, but Yours be done.” You would give up your prayer for your loved one’s life, if you could realize the thoughts that Christ is praying in the opposite direction—”Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am.” Lord, You shall have them. By faith we let them go.