I know the language is tough but it is from the 17th Century Scottish Pastor Samuel Rutherford who bore the burdens of his parish deeply in his heart. I take comfort in his insight. His ability to comfort came at a cost. He knew what it was to suffer loss and experience much pain and sorrow. He also knew that our Children are not ours fully as they are God’s.
You can read a biography that I wrote about him here.
Here are a few small portions of The Letters of Samuel Rutherford to comfort the afflicted upon the loss of life on this side….
‘Take no heavier lift of your children, than your Lord alloweth; give them room beside your heart, but not in the yolk of your heart, where Christ should be; for then they are your idols, not your *bairns. If your Lord take any of them home to his house before the storm come on, take it well, the owner of the orchard may take down two or three apples off his own trees, before midsummer, and *ere they get the harvest sun; and it would not be seemly that his servant, the gardener, should chide him for it. Let our Lord pluck his own fruit at any season he pleaseth; they are not lost to you, they are laid up so well, as that they are coffered in heaven, where our Lord’s best jewels lie.’
‘The child hath but changed a bed in the garden, and is planted up higher, nearer the sun, where he shall thrive better than in this out-field moor ground’
‘Go on and faint not, something of yours is in heaven, beside the flesh of your exalted Saviour, and ye go on after your own.’
‘He (she) is not lost to you who is found to Christ. If he (she) hath casten his bloom and flower, the bloom is fallen in heaven in Christ’s lap; and as he (she) was lent awhile to time, so is he now given to eternity, which will take yourself; and the difference of your shipping and his (hers) to heaven and Christ’s shore, the land of life, is only in some few years, which weareth every day shorter, and some short and soon reckoned summers will give you a meeting with him.’
*bairn [bɛən (Scot) bern]
Scot and northern English a child
[Old English bearn; related to bearm lap, Old Norse, Old High German barn child]
conj & prep
a poetic word for before
[Old English ǣr; related to Old Norse ār early, Gothic airis earlier, Old High German ēr earlier, Greek eri early]
(2Co 1:2) Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
(2Co 1:3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,
(2Co 1:4) who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
(2Co 1:5) For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
(2Co 1:6) If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.
(2Co 1:7) Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.