This second meditation from Scougal (see yesterday’s post) provided comfort to me late Sunday night. My wife was asleep, and I was having a fair bit of trouble concentrating on my study of German because I was mired in thought and grief over stories I had heard earlier in the day. I delivered a lecture entitled, “The Sovereignty of God and the Experience of Illness” to a group of people on Sunday morning, and the stories of suffering and death that some of them, with tears forming in the corners of their eyes, shared with me afterward affected me more than I initially thought they would. My thoughts, Sunday night, were cast on the prospects of losing someone close to me – especially my wife. This passage gave my heart rest.
“Another thing that disturbs the pleasure of love, and renders it a miserable and unquiet passion, is absence and separation from those we love. It is not without a sensible affliction that friends do part, though for some little time. It is sad to be deprived of that [company] which is so delightful. Our life becomes tedious, being spent in an impatient expectation of the happy hour wherein we may meet again. But if death has made the separation, as some time or other it must, this occasions a grief scarce to be paralleled by all the misfortunes of human life, and wherein we may pay dear enough for the comforts of our friendship. But oh, how happy are those who have placed their love on Him who can never be absent from them! They need but open their eyes, and they shall everywhere behold the traces of His presence and glory, and converse with Him whom their soul loveth, and this makes the darkest prison or wildest desert not only supportable, but delightful to them.”