Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
March 22– Evening
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“Father, I desire that those whom you have given to me will be with me where I am.”
O death, why do you touch the tree that provides shade for those needing rest? Why do you snatch away our loved ones from the earth in whom we delight? If you must use your ax, use it upon the trees that yield no fruit; then we would thank you for doing a good service. But why do you chop down the beautiful cedars of Lebanon? Keep your ax still and spare the righteous!
But this is not how it is. Death strikes the best of our friends: the most generous, the most prayerful, the most holy, the most devoted. Why? It is because of Jesus’ prevailing prayer: “Father, I desire that those whom you have given to me will be with me where I am.” It is that prayer which bears them on eagle’s wings to heaven. Every time a believer ascends from this earth to paradise, it is an answer to Christ’s prayer. Someone has noted that “Many times Jesus and his people pray in opposite directions.” We pray, “Father, I want your saints to stay with me where I am.” But Christ prays, “Father, I want those whom you have given to me to 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. Our loved ones cannot be with Christ and with us. Which prayer do you think will win the day? If the King should say, “Here are two prayers in opposition; which one should I answer?” Even though it would be difficult for you, I’m sure that 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 only Christ’s prayer could be answered: “Father, I desire that those whom you have given to me will be with me where I am.” Lord, you will have them. By faith we let them go. [M&E]