The human idol is removed!
Winslow, "Bereavement, The Submission and Solace of Spiritual Life"
Bereavement is often the season of revived spirituality.
Eternity is more solemnly realized; the mind is more
withdrawn from the affairs of the present life; the
heart is disengaged from the shadows of earth; and
the things that are seen, and temporal, give place
to the things that are unseen and eternal.
Oh, see that this is one hallowed fruit of your present
sorrow! God has sent it to revive His work in your soul;
to draw off your thoughts and affections from those
earth born things which have too much absorbed the
vitality and impaired the vigor of your higher life your
life for God; for heaven; for eternity!
Bereavement is a time of prayer. If ever the solace
of prayer is felt, the preciousness of the Mercy Seat
is realized, it is now. Your heart, stricken with grief,
turns to God. The sad and startling discovery is made;
unsuspected while the light of God was upon your
tabernacle; that too far and too long your heart had
roved from God; your communion had grown distant,
and your affections chilled; and, shyness of God and
leanness of soul have supervened, as the natural
consequence of your remote and careless walk.
But now the shadow of death has darkened the
sunshine of your life: the destroyer has invaded
the sanctuary of your home, and has plucked a
cherished flower from your bosom; or, has broken
a 'strong and beautiful staff' at your side; or, has
laid low a venerable oak spreading its branches
beneath the roof tree of your dwelling; and your
heart, bowed with grief, now bows itself in prayer
to God, and the spiritual life of your soul throbs
with a newer and more quickened pulse.
Oh hail that as a heaven sent blessing; robed
though it be with the habiliment of mourning;
which wakes the slumbering spirit of prayer,
and sets you upon the work of calling upon God!
The human idol is removed, but
the Divine Savior takes its place!
Oh, it is so hard to yield what was most dear; to
give back to God a loan, the possession of which
seemed intertwined with every fiber of the heart,
and the existence of which had become essential
to life itself!
But tracing a Father's hand and a Father's heart;
His all wise and righteous government appointing
the event, and His infinite and unchanging love
sending it; your bewildered mind and bleeding
heart bows in submission, with the words of
Christ breathing from your lips; "My Father, if
this cup may not pass from me, except I drink it,
may Your will be done."
And thus, in this submission of your will to God,
this terrible calamity has issued in such a
development and growth of your spiritual life
as leaves its reality without a doubt, and its
luster without a cloud. And, as music sounds
the sweetest in the still of night, and as flowers,
when bruised, breathe their richest perfume;
so, your night of weeping and crushing grief
has issued in the sweetest song of your bruised
spirit, and in the holiest fragrance of your spiritual life.
Oh, who can adequately portray the perfect calm,
the hallowed repose, the ecstatic joy, when the
Divine will is supremely enthroned in the soul,
and the sad heart nestles itself, as a child
weaned of its mother, in the very bosom of God!