"Who plucked that flower?" It was the question asked by a gardener. A cherished bloom, the pride of the garden, had been cut from the parent stem. From bud to tender blossom it had been watched and cared for. Now it was gone. Who was it who had dared to take the flower?
The answer was, "The master."
Yes, the owner, passing by along the gravel walk, had noticed it, had admired it, and had removed it. It was his and, appreciating it, he had taken it to himself.
Hearing the answer, the gardener was satisfied.
The master himself had seen, with pleasure, the outcome of his gardener's work and had plucked the choice bloom for his use.
If our Master and Lord had taken to Himself one of the choicest blooms from the garden of our lives, shall we demur? It was His; the right to pluck the flower was with Him, and He has used that right. Perhaps the loved one had been long with us, and we had thought the flower our own. But it was not so. It was His. "Ye are not your own...ye are bought with a price" are His words of reminder to us all. All we have, we have in stewardship.
It was this which Job recognized, as he said, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job 1:21.
We know Him in a fuller way than Job could know Him, for our Lord has come and has suffered for us. In His grace He, though rich, for our sakes "became poor, that [we] through His poverty might be rich." 2 Cor. 8:9. He has given Himself, keeping nothing back. He sold all that He had and delivered Himself up on our behalf.
Shall we not confide in Him who ever acts in the good pleasure of His goodness, and who deals in love and kindness towards us in everything?
"God nothing does, nor suffers to be done,
But what thou wouldst thyself agree,
If thou the end of all events
Couldst see as well as He."
The Christian child or parent or brother or sister or friend who has gone from us has been chosen by the Master for Himself in the courts on high.
Let us not murmur! The Master has the loved one with Himself, and we have the Master with us, until that glad day when together all will be introduced to the realms of light and glory.
"Our loved ones before, Lord!
Their sorrows are o'er, Lord!
We'll meet them once more,
At Thy coming again!
That marked them as Thine, Lord!
The blood was the sign, Lord!
And brightly they'll shine,
At Thy coming again!"
+First published as Songs for the Night Seasons by Inglis Fleming. New York: Loizeaux Bros., [n.d.].