“Father, I will that those also, whom You have given Me–be with Me where I am.” John 17:24
O death! why do you touch the tree beneath whose spreading branches, weariness has rest? Why do you snatch away the excellent of the earth, in whom is all your delight? If you must use your axe–use it upon the trees which yield no fruit–you might be thanked then. But why will you strike down the goodly cedars of Lebanon? O stay your axe–and spare the righteous!
But no, it must not be! Death smites the goodliest 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 will that those also, whom You have given Me–be with Me where I am.” It is Jesus’ prayer which bears them on eagle’s wings to heaven. Every time a believer mounts from this earth to paradise–it is an answer to Christ’s prayer.
A good old divine remarks, “Many times Jesus and His people pull against one another in prayer. You bend your knee in prayer and say ‘Father, I will that Your saints be with me where I am’; Christ says, ‘Father, I will that those also, whom You have given Me–be with Me where I am.'” Thus 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 pleader 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 start from your feet, and say, “Jesus, not my will–but may 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 will that those also, whom You have given Me–be with Me where I am.” Lord, You shall have them. By faith, I will let them go!