The Lesson of Death - JB Stoney
THE LESSON OF DEATH
The tidings in your letter are very sad. His way indeed is in the sea, and His footsteps are not known, and yet, "Thou leddest forth thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron." I feel much for the bereaved parents. They were so attached to that boy, and he seemed so to requite them for all their care. How death rolls in on us here ! Surely the more our hearts are in remembrance of the death of Christ the better are we prepared for any wave of death here. It is a land of death. There has been much illness in this house. What appears so afflicting is an occasion and opportunity for the Lord to make Himself known in a deeper and fuller way than when one is not so conscious of one's need of Him. You have learned this, I am sure. The proud natural man tries to bear his sorrows alone. How our hearts are mellowed when we find the Lord bearing us company which He could not do if we were not subject to His word. Martha seems to have gained but little by her sorrow; but Mary, oh,,how much ! . . . With regard to your dear suffering'child, I can only lay the matter before the Father of our Saviour, and our Father. There is great rest in this because we are then assured that He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, will He not with Him freely give us all things ? I feel we are continually brought to face death in one way or another. . . . But His heart is full of tenderness for you, and if there be sorrow on one side there will be a great compensation for it on some other side, so that you can say, "Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life." The sorrow is only the evening before the morning. May your hearts be enriched in this trying moment in the knowledge of His sympathy. What a support and cheer to the poor heart to know that He feels and enters into, and supplies suited succour to us in these times of sorrow.
I have been interested in seeing that the greatest gain from sorrow or suffering is the nearness we are drawn into with the Lord thereby. It is only near Him that we acquire divine sensibility, that is, we learn what suits Him. Mary of Bethany learned from His love that He would appreciate a tribute of her love. How blessedly we should move on and act if we had more divine sensibility.
With love and committing you to Him who cares infinitely for you. . . .