Today, I think today about my earthly father who is now in preparation for his final journey home. His soul is ready; ours still hesitates. Even though he is 91, we would hold him here just a little while longer. I thought the words below expressed first by C.H. Spurgeon and then edited later by Alistair Begg would be a blessing to all who, along with me, find it their painful joy to stand on the banks of Jordan and wave their goodbyes to faithful heroes who can no longer resist the call to enter Canaan’s eternal and happy land. Upward was their calling in life and upward they must go in death. Jesus calls them and we must let them go to a place prepared for a people prepared. The tearing away here brings a glad embrace in glory. Still, it is as if we cannot let go of any dear saint without a bit of a battle in our souls. Note here the words of Spurgeon; they speak to our hearts in such a time as this.

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 parson 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 must let them go.

Happy journey, Dad – it will be the best one yet. See you soon.

Your loving son,