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In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – March 22

Just For Today
March 22
The Principle Of Self-Support

“In our addiction, we were dependent upon people, places, and things. We looked to them to support us and supply the things we found lacking in ourselves.”
Basic Text pg. 67

In the animal kingdom, there is a creature that thrives on others. It is called a leech. It attaches itself to people and takes what it needs. When one victim brushes the leech off, it simply goes to the next.

In our active addiction, we behaved similarly. We drained our families, our friends, and our communities. Consciously or unconsciously, we sought to get something for nothing from virtually everyone we encountered.

When we saw the basket passed at our first meeting we may have thought, “Self-Support! Now what kind of odd notion is this?” As we watched, we noticed something. These self-supporting addicts were free. By paying their own way, they had earned the privilege of making their own decisions.

By applying the principle of self-support in our personal lives, we gain for ourselves the same kind of freedom. No longer does anyone have the right to tell us where to live, because we pay our own rent. We can eat, wear, or drive whatever we choose, because we provide it for ourselves.

Unlike the leech, we don’t have to depend on others for our sustenance. The more responsibility we assume, the more freedom we’ll gain.

Just for today: There are no limits to the freedom I can earn by supporting myself. I will accept personal responsibility and pay my own way today.

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Daily Reflections
March 22
NO MORE STRUGGLE

And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone — even alcohol.
–ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 84

When A.A. found me, I thought I was in for a struggle, and that A.A. might provide the strength I needed to beat alcohol. Victorious in that fight, who knows what other battles I could win. I would need to be strong, though. All my previous experience with life provided that. Today I do not have to struggle or exert my will.  If I take those Twelve Steps and let my Higher Power do the real work, my alcohol problem disappears all by itself. My living problems also cease to be struggles.  I just have to ask whether acceptance — or change — is required. It is not my will, but His, that needs doing.

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Twenty-Four Hours A Day
March 22
A.A. Thought For The Day

We’re all looking for the power to overcome drinking. A fellow comes into A.A. and his first question is: How do I get the strength to quit? At first, it seems to him that he will never get the necessary strength. He sees older members who have found the power he is looking for, but he doesn’t know the process by which they got it. This necessary strength comes in many ways. Have I found all the strength I need?

Meditation For The Day

You cannot have a spiritual need which God cannot supply. Your fundamental need is a spiritual need, the need of power to lead the good life. The best spiritual supply is received by you when you want it to pass on to other people. You get it largely by giving it away. God gives you strength as you pass it on to another person. That strength means increased health; increased health means more good work, and more good work means more people helped. And so it goes on, a constant supply to meet all spiritual needs.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my every spiritual need will be supplied by God. I pray that I may use the power I receive to help others.

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As Bill Sees It
March 22
“Selfish”?, p.81

“I can see why you are disturbed to hear some A.A. speakers say, ‘A.A. is a selfish program.’ The word ‘selfish’ ordinarily implies that one is acquisitive, demanding, and thoughtless of the welfare of others. Of course, the A.A. way of life does not at all imply such undesirable traits.

“What do these speakers mean? Well, any theologian will tell you that the salvation of his own soul is the highest vocation that a man can have. Without salvation–however we may define this–he will have little or nothing. For us of A.A., there is even more urgency.

“If we cannot or will not achieve sobriety, then we become truly lost, right in the here and now. We are of no value to anyone, including ourselves, until we find salvation from alcohol. Therefore, our own recovery and spiritual growth have to come first–a right and necessary kind of self-concern.”

Letter, 1966

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Walk in Dry Places
March 22
Let Go and Let God
Guidance.

Though it came from outside AA, the idea of “letting go and letting God” has taken root in the fellowship. The trouble comes when we try to decide what it really means. We obviously need to continue working and we still have to make important decisions. SO how d o we let God take charge?

Surrendering to God’s will is a shift that takes place in our attitude. We take whatever actions seem reasonable and proper according to our view of things. We remember, however, that a better plan may be unfolding in every situation. In many cases, it can even be a case of wanting too little rather than too much. One member, for example, sought guidance in a business decision. He was disappointed when the deal feel through, but discovered, only a few weeks later, an even better opportunity that worked out perfectly.

“Letting God” is really a form of working Step Eleven.. Seeking “Knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.” As we do that, our lives must become enriched and improved in every way.

I’ll approach the day with the idea that God is working it out for the highest good of everybody. Temporary setbacks won’t bother me if I know that God’s plan is unfolding in my life.

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Keep It Simple
March 22

If anything, we have tended to be people who wanted it all now. To hope is not
Not to demand.
— On Hope

Maybe we were a bit demanding. Maybe we were a bit impatient. Maybe that’s why we had such little hope.

Hope is believing good will come even in bad time. Hope is knowing that “this, too, shall pass.”

Hope is knowing that no matter how afraid we are, God will be with us. Hope is knowing we never have to be alone again. It is knowing that time that time is on our side. Hope is giving up control. Hope is knowing we never had control in the first place. Hope is believing in ourselves. Hope is what our program is all about.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, in our program we share our experiences, our strengths, and our hopes. Thank you for giving all three of these to me to share.

Action for the Day: I will share my hope for the future with myself, my Higher Power, and my friends. I also will share this with someone who has lost hope.

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Each Day a New Beginning
March 22

Reared as we were in a youth and beauty oriented society, we measured ourselves by our ornamental value.
–Janet Harris

Rare is the woman who doesn’t long for a svelte body, firm breasts, pretty teeth, a smooth complexion. Rare is the woman who feels content, truly satisfied with her total person. We are often torn between wanting to be noticed and yet not wanting eyes to gaze upon us.

We are all that we need to be today, at this moment. And we have an inner beauty, each of us, that is our real blessing in the lives of others. Our inner beauty will shine forth if we invite it to do so. Whatever our outer appearance, it doesn’t gently touch or bring relief where suffering is–like our words which come from the heart, the home of our inner beauty.

Perhaps a better mirror for reflecting our true beauty is the presence or absence of friends in our lives. We each have known stunning women who seemed to cast only cold glances our way and handsome men who arrogantly belittled others. It’s our inner beauty that is valued by others. The surprise in store for each of us is discovering that the glow of our inner beauty transforms our outer appearance too.

My beauty today will be enhanced by my gentle attention to the other people sharing my experiences.

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Alcoholics Anonymous
March 22
SAFE HAVEN

– This A.A. found that the process of discovering who he really was began with knowing who he didn’t want to be.

At age sixteen I got a part-time job as a disc jockey for a local radio station. Those in a position to know observed that I had a knack for this kind of work, so I dropped out of high school and started spinning records full time. Drinking and partying went hand in hand with this job. Soon, a pattern began that lasted for many years. When the alcoholism became obvious to my employers and began to affect my job performance, I would simply resign and seek employment with another broadcasting company.

p. 453

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Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
March 22

Step Three – “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

Practicing Step Three is like the opening of a door which to all appearances is still closed and locked. All we need is a key, and the decision to swing the door open. There is only one key, and it is called willingness. Once unlocked by willingness, the door opens almost of itself, and looking through it, we shall see a pathway beside which is an inscription. It reads: “This is the way to a faith that works.” In the first two Steps we were engaged in reflection. We saw that we were powerless over alcohol, but we also perceived that faith of some kind, if only in A.A. itself, is possible to anyone. These conclusions did not require action; they required only acceptance.

p. 34

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Xtra Thoughts
March 22

God, please show me how to put ideas like fun and joy back into my life. Show me how to have more fun in work, in love, and in play.
–Melody Beattie

“There are lessons to be learned in every place. The mark of spiritual mastery is the ability to remember God wherever we go, and through whatever we experience.”
–Alan Cohen

“A friend will see us at our worst, as well as our best.  A friend will not close his or her heart when we have made a mistake.  A friend will not condemn us but will compassionately support our return to a state of grace.”
–Marianne Williamson

Someone’s opinion of you does not have to become your reality.
–Les Brown

However I pray, God hears my prayers.
–Katrina Cassel

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Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
March 22
FORGIVENESS

“God will forgive me; that’s his business.”
— Heinrich Heine

It took me a long time to accept that God had forgiven the deeds done in my addiction. It took me a long time to comprehend that God is forgiveness, “forgiving love”. Forgiveness unites us with God because it is His nature to forgive.

When I am living the spiritual life, I can unite myself with Him by my acts of forgiveness. And when I forgive others, I am doing a kindness, an act of forgiveness, to myself. Hate used to drain me of energy and it still can if I get caught up in resentments. Forgiveness restores energy and peace.

When I forgive, I am at one with God.

In the forgiveness of others I discover me.

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Bible Scriptures
March 22

“But You, O GOD the Lord, Deal with me for Your name’s sake;  Because Your mercy is good, deliver me”
Psalm 109:21

He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honor.
Proverbs 21:21

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Daily Inspiration
March 22

Think often of your friends and seldom of your enemies and you will surround yourself with good thoughts, leaving little or no room for darkness. Lord, help me search for goodness so that it is goodness that I find.

We take for granted so much of what God has planned for us. Lord, may I have sufficient preparation to meet the challenges of today and rejoice in the person that I am.

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A Day At A Time
March 22

Reflection For The Day

Once in a great while, I find myself thinking that perhaps things weren’t quite so  bad as they seemed to be.  At such moments, I force myself to realize that my illness is talking to me, trying to tempt me in to denying that I am.  In fact, afflicted with an illness.  One of the key action steps of The Program is that we give our illness to God as we understand Him, accepting our powerlessness in the face of His greater Power.  Do I believe that the grace of God can do fo rme what I could never do for myself?

Today I Pray

May I know that much of  our lives depends on faith.  For we cannot know the limits of space and time — or explain the mysteries of life and death.  But when we see God working through us —  and through others who have found new life in The Program — it is all the evidence we need to know that He exists.

Today I Will Remember

The Big Wheel runs by faith.

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One More Day
March 22

Courage is the resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
–  Mark Twain

So many of us suffer from flagging self-esteem.  This may occur for many reasons, all complex.  When we finally decide we are going to create change in our lives, we may be uncertain as to how to make the change.  How do we start?  One of the best starting places is to adopt on premise of the Twelve Step Programs and begin to act “as if” we have all the confidence in the world, “as if” we have great faith in ourselves.  We start to spend time thinking about the possibilities, rather than the impossibilities.

We all fear the unknown, but to act “as if” helps us deal with the things we can’t see.  Eventually, contrived as it feels, our new behavior will become new habits, and we won’t need to act “as if” –  because we truly “are.”

I am willing to try to act “as if” I can create change.

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One Day At A Time
March 22
Patience

“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is Patience.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today’s topic is Patience! When I first came to Program, I didn’t really know what abstinence was. I thought it was a diet. It turned out to be far more than I ever imagined. since beginning, I’ve gained abstinence, I’ve lost weight and my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being has changed more than I ever thought possible. I’ve come so far … beyond my wildest dreams … yet, sometimes it feels like it’s still not enough. I’ll get in a row with my 12 year old daughter over some minor issue. She has a way of pushing my buttons which sends me into “finger-pointing” and “lecture” mode – good intentions gone totally awry! She’ll ultimately tune me out – and I’ll walk away feeling like a bad parent. The guilt will set in and I’ll deride myself for lacking patience and having bad judgement! But once I’ve calmed down – I’ll remind myself that my intentions were good and – as in my food plan – progress not perfection has to apply to my parenting just as it does to my any other aspect of my recovery. T is requires me to be patient with MYSELF as well as with others.

One Day at a Time . . .
I will learn to be patient with myself as well as with others.

~ Rob R.

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Elder’s Meditation of the Day March 22

“Everything’s so simple, and we make everything so complicated. That’s why we’re confused.”
–Vickie Downey, TEWA/Tesuque Pueblo

The Creator designed a very simple set of Laws for us to follow. If we follow these simple things, we’ll be happy. If we don’t follow these simple things, our lives become complicated. For example:
•Respect Mother Earth
•Love one another
•Be truthful
•Give to your brother and sisters
•Be gentle with each other
•Be happy
Following these simple Laws will have great rewards.

Great Spirit, let me lead a simple life.

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Journey to the Heart
March 22
Don’t Be Controlled by Love

Using love to control and manipulate is heartbreaking. It can break the heart of the person doing it, it can break the heart of the person it’s being done to.

So often, controlling through love is done almost unconsciously. It’s a dance people do out of habit to get their needs met. Their reasons don’t matter, although it’s easier to have compassion for those who control unknowingly than those who use the power of love maliciously and viciously.

What matters is how you respond if it’s being done to you. What matters is that you don’t do it to other people.

Open your heart and see the truth. Set yourself free. If someone is controlling you by using your love for them or your need to be loved, acknowledge it. If you are doing it to someone else, acknowledge that,too. Once you see the truth, you can set yourself free.

So much of what we need to do to free our hearts and souls is simply to acknowledge the truth. The rest will happen naturally.

Love has no price. It’s only love if it’s free.

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Today’s Gift
March 22

Real men don’t vacuum.
—Anna Genich

Once, not so long ago, there was a family who tried to divide up housework equally. The father signed up for vacuuming, but he never got around to doing it.

One morning he told everyone about his dream the night before. He was lined up in the dining room with an entire football team, and they all ran in a line through the house, pushing the clutter and dirt up against the walls and out of the way. They came to a finish at the picture window, where the father turned and raised his arms in victory. Then he saw his wife watching him, so he explained, “Heroes don’t vacuum.”

Perhaps each of us is a hero at one time or another. In that case, we might take turns at different chores, rewarding the day’s hero with a day off from vacuuming or dish washing. When we work together to get the chores done, we become a family of heroes, and can feel a healthy pride in our warm, loving, and clean home.

How can we share housework more equally?

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The Language of Letting Go
March 22
Letting Go of Being a Victim

It’s okay to have a good day. Really.

It’s okay to be doing okay and to feel like our life is manageable and on track.

Many of us have learned, as part of our survival behaviors, that the way to get the attention and approval we want is to be victims. If life is awful, too difficult, unmanageable, too hard, unfair, then others will accept, like, and approve of us, we think.

We may have learned this from living and associating with people who also learned to survive by being a victim.

We are not victims. We do not need to be victimized. We do not need to be helpless and out of control to get the attention and love we desire. In fact, the kind of love we are seeking cannot be obtained that way.

We can get the love we really want and need by only owning our power. We learn that we can stand on our own two feet, even though it sometimes feels good to lean a little. We learn that the people we are leaning on are not holding us up. They are standing next to us.

We all have bad days — days when things are not going the way we’d like, days when we have feelings of sadness and fear. But we can deal with our bad days and darker feelings in ways that reflect self-responsibility rather than victimization.

It’s okay to have a good day too. We might not have as much to talk about, but we’ll have more to enjoy.

God, help me let go of my need to be a victim. Help me let go of my belief that to be loved and get attention I need to be a victim. Surround me with people who love me when I own my power. Help me start having good days and enjoying them.

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More Language Of Letting Go
March 22
Let go of the future

Many years ago, in ancient times, Moses led a group of slaves out of Egypt and back to their homeland. Along the way, they had to wander for many years through the Sinai Peninsula, a barren, rocky, lifeless stretch of land.

During their extended stay in the wilderness, God provided them with manna, a food that appeared out of nowhere and sustained the people with the nourishment they needed each day. The trick to this rhythm of trusting God, and receiving what they needed, was that any manna they received had to be used that day.

Manna couldn’t be hoarded. It could not be stored or saved up for a rainy day. If the people hoarded their manna, it would spoil and rot away. Or it would mysteriously disappear as magically and certainly as it had appeared.

Most of us know what it means to receive our daily bread. It’s the love, the guidance, the grace, and the material things we need each day on our journey.

Sometimes, we can sit down and anticipate the times to come. We can look at our money, our strength, our abilities, our stamina, and say wearily, “There just won’t be enough.” That’s because we’re looking too far ahead.

Look around at what you have available, this moment or this hour. Use the resources and gifts you’ve been given. Tomorrow’s manna will come at its appointed hour.

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Touchstones Meditation For Men
March 22

Let no one be deluded that a knowledge of the path can substitute for putting one foot in front of the other.
—M. C. Richards

Recovering men know this path is not always easy. We usually talk about the benefits of recovery and the many promises of the program. Today, in our fellowship, we talk of the challenges we must face in order to recover. Honesty may be the greatest challenge. It is frightening to be honest with ourselves about things we have never really admitted or faced before.

Sometimes we have new and confusing feelings and think something must be wrong with us. But we may be just experiencing the logical outcome of our earlier commitment to be honest. No one recovers by thinking about it. We must actively take each Step and meet the challenges presented. We are not alone with our difficulties. We are part of a large movement of men committed to recovery, and this quiet moment is one way in which we are simply putting one foot in front of the other.

Today, I pray for the courage to remain faithful when the fears and pains of my transformation are overwhelming.

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DailyTAO
March 22
SAILING

Infinite expanse, sleek ocean teaming with life,
Turbulent, virile, ever-moving spread,
Seamlessly laid to the brilliant sky,
I float on you in my fashioned womb,
Sustained against your green-black depths.
Those on land never understand maritime life.
Those of the sea are intimate with your moods;
They navigate but are ultimately helpless.
Destinations become useless, drifting the sole reality:
A sailor’s fears dissolve into acceptance.

Tao is sometimes compared to the ocean. Its depth is immeasurable, its power rules all who enter it. We seek to sail it with our knowledge of knots, direction, mathematics, and charts, yet our understanding is incomparable to its vastness. The young have great ambitions about exploring both above and below the surface, while the old have given in:  They know that there is no other alternative than to accept the ocean and float upon it. One who accepts is sustained. Those who go beyond its terms meet death. Thus the wise say that they float here and there without care; they trust in the overwhelming power of Tao.

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DailyZen
March 22

To find a buddha,
you have to see your nature.
Whoever sees his or her nature is a buddha.
If you don’t see your nature,
invoking buddhas results in good karma.
Reciting sutras results in good memory.
Keeping precepts results in a good rebirth.
And making offerings results in future blessings.
But no buddha.

– Bodhidharma (d. 533)

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Food for Thought
March 22
Abstinence Is a Way of Life

Each morning when we wake up, we give thanks for another day of abstinence. Our bodies feel good, function well, and look better. To go back to our old ways of eating compulsively would be to give up the new health and peace of mind, which we have acquired through OA.

We do not want to go back. We are learning a new way of life, one that is infinitely preferable to our old ways. In order to maintain our abstinence and continue to make progress, we need a program. For most of us, this involves working the Twelve Steps each day.

Program sponsors can help us with this new way of life. Other OA members share their experience and tell us what has worked for them. Most of us find that we need the spiritual part of the program if we are to maintain our abstinence. Abstaining purely for weight control is usually not enough.

If we are to keep what OA has given us, we have to share it with others. We find that the more we give it away, the more progress we make with our own program.

To abstain is no sacrifice; it is growth and life.

I am grateful for this new life.

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Faith’s Check Book
March 22
Grace for the Humble

He giveth grace unto the humble.
–(James 4:6)

Humble hearts seek grace, and therefore they get it. Humble hearts yield to the sweet influences of grace, and so it is bestowed on them more and more largely. Humble hearts lie in the valleys where streams of grace are flowing, and hence they drink of them, Humble hearts are grateful for grace and give the Lord the glory of it, and hence it is consistent with His honor to give it to them.

Come, dear reader, take a lowly place. Be little in thine own esteem, that the Lord may make much of thee. Perhaps the sigh breaks out, “I fear I am not humble.” It may be that this is the language of true humility. Some are proud of being humble, and this is one of the very worst sorts of pride. We are needy, helpless, undeserving, hell-deserving creatures, and if we are not humble we ought to be. Let us humble ourselves because of our sins against humility, and then the Lord will give us to taste of His favor. It is grace which makes us humble, and grace which finds in this humility an opportunity for pouring in more grace. Let us go down that we may rise. Let us be poor in spirit that God may make us rich. Let us be humble that we may not need to be humbled but may be exalted by the grace of God

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This Morning’s Meditation
March 22

“And He went a little farther, and fell on His face, and prayed.”
-—Matthew 26:39.

THERE are several instructive features in our Saviour’s prayer in His hour of trial. It was lonely prayer. He withdrew even from His three favoured disciples. Believer, be much in solitary prayer, especially in times of trial. Family prayer, social prayer, prayer in the Church, will not suffice, these are very precious, but the best beaten spice will smoke in your censer in your private devotions, where no ear hears but God’s.

It was humble prayer. Luke says He knelt, but another evangelist says He “fell on His face.” Where, then, must be THY place, thou humble servant of the great Master? What dust and ashes should cover thy head! Humility gives us good foot-hold in prayer. There is no hope of prevalence with God unless we abase ourselves that He may exalt us in due time.

It was filial prayer. “Abba, Father.” You will find it a stronghold in the day of trial to plead your adoption. You have no rights as a subject, you have forfeited them by your treason; but nothing can forfeit a child’s right to a father’s protection. Be not afraid to say, “My Father, hear my cry.”

Observe that it was persevering prayer. He prayed three times. Cease not until you prevail. Be as the importunate widow, whose continual coming earned what her first supplication could not win. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.

Lastly, it was the prayer of resignation. “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” Yield, and God yields. Let it be as God wills, and God will determine for the best. Be thou content to leave thy prayer in his hands, who knows when to give, and how to give, and what to give, and what to withhold. So pleading, earnestly, importunately, yet with humility and resignation, thou shalt surely prevail.

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The Evenings Meditation
March 22

“Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.”-—John 17:24.

O death! why dost thou touch the tree beneath whose spreading branches weariness hath rest? Why dost thou snatch away the excellent of the earth, in whom is all our delight? If thou must use thine axe, use it upon the trees which yield no fruit; thou mightest be thanked then. But why wilt thou fell the goodly cedars of Lebanon? O stay thine 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 they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.” It is that 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 Thy saints be with me where I am’; Christ says, ‘Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast 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 Thine 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 they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am.” Lord, Thou shalt have them. By faith we let them go.

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