“In just a little while I will be gone, and you won’t see me anymore. Then, just a little while after that, you will see me again.” —John. 16:16

Long seem the moments when we are separated from the friend we love. An absent brother—how his return is looked and longed for! The “Elder Brother”—the “Living Kinsman”—sends a message to His waiting Church and people—a word of solace, telling that soon (“a little while”), and He will be back again, never again to leave them.

There are indeed blessed moments of communion which the believer enjoys with His beloved Lord now; but how fitful and transient! Today, life is a brief Emmaus Journey—the soul happy in the presence and love of an unseen Savior. Tomorrow, He is gone; and the bereft spirit is led to interrogate itself in plaintive sorrow—”Where is now your God?” Even when there is no such experience of darkness and depression, how much there is in the world around to fill the believer with sadness! His Lord rejected and disowned—His love set at nothing—His providences slighted—His name blasphemed—His creation groaning and travailing in pain—disunion, too, among His people—His loving heart wounded in the house of His friends!

But, in just a little while, and all this mystery of iniquity will be finished. The absent Brother’s footfall will soon be heard—no longer “as a wayfaring man who turns aside to tarry for a night,” but to receive His people into the permanent “mansions” His love has been preparing and from which they shall go no more out. Oh, blessed day! when creation will put on her Easter robes—when her Lord, so long dishonored, will be enthroned amid the Hosannahs of a rejoicing universe—angels lauding Him—saints crowning Him—sin, the dark plague-spot on His universe, extinguished forever—death swallowed up in eternal victory!

And it is but “a little while!” “Yet a little while,” we elsewhere read, “and He that shall come, will come, and will not tarry.” “He will stay not a moment longer”, says Goodwin, “than He has despatched all our business in Heaven for us.” With what joy will He send His mission-Angel with the announcement, “the little while is at an end;” and to issue the invitation to the great festival of glory, “Come! for all things are ready!”

Child of sorrow! think often of this “little while.” “The days of your mourning will soon be ended.” There is a limit set to your suffering time—”After you have suffered a while.” Every wave is numbered between you and the haven; and then when that haven is reached, oh, what an apocalypse of glory!—the “little while” of time merged into the great and unending “while” of eternity!—to be forever with the Lord—the same unchanged and unchanging Savior!

“A little while, and you shall see Me!” Would that the eye of faith might be kept more intently fixed on “that glorious appearing!” How the world, with its guilty fascinations, tries to dim and obscure this blessed hope! How the heart is prone to throw out its tendrils into the earth, and get them rooted in some perishable object! Reader! seek to dwell more habitually on this the grand consummation of all your dearest wishes. “Stand on the edge of your nest, pluming your wings for flight.” Like the mother of Sisera, be looking for the expected chariot.

“He is faithful that promised.”

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