God not only inserts people into our lives in order to bless us, but he also causes them to remain with us, for our joy. Paul thought about Epaphroditus in such terms.
In fact he became so ill that he nearly died. But God showed mercy to him—and not to him only, but also to me—so that I would not have grief on top of grief.
Instead of questioning why God takes people from us — a question that we have no way of finding an answer to — let us give thanks to God for his mercy which keeps beloved people in our lives who help us and cooperate with us in the gospel.
READ: ““Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” Lk 6.21b.
THINK: We ought to cry for our own sin, Lk 22.62, and for the condemnation of the rebellious world, Lk 19.41. Jesus cried in the presence of death, Jn 11.35, an act of solidarity, Rm 12.15. He who refuses to cry now, will later lament, Lk 6.25; Jn 16.20. Let us change worldly laughter into crying, Jas 4.9. Because the time is short, “those with tears” should live “like those not weeping” 1 Cor 7.29ff. In heaven no one cries, Rev 21.4.
While we understand that not everybody is blessed with a bright outlook on life, we need to remember that joy is one of the gifts Jesus promised to His followers (John 16:17-24). And we need to resist any tendency to let sadness dominate our lives.
So writes Mike Riley today. Remember!