At Home Forever -
"Therefore it is that God's people pass through great tribulation;
Therefore it is they are often called upon to suffer the sting of affliction and anxiety,
or weep over the grave of those whom they have loved as their own soul.
It is their Father's hand that chastens them;
it is thus He weans their affection from things below and fixes them on Himself;
it is thus He trains them for Eternity,
and cuts the threads one by one that bind their wavering hearts to earth.
No doubt such chastening is grievous for the time,
but still it brings many a hidden grace to light, and cuts down many a secret seed of evil;
and we shall see those who have suffered most shining among the brightest stars in the assembly of Heaven.
The purest gold is that which has been longest in the Refiner's furnace.
The brightest diamond is often that which has required the most grinding and polishing.
But our light affliction endureth but for a moment, and it worketh for us a far more exceeding
and eternal weight of glory. The saints are men who have come out of great tribulation -
they are never left to perish in it.
The last night of weeping will soon be spent, the last wave of trouble will have rolled over us,
and then we shall have a peace that passeth all understanding;
we shall be at Home forever with the Lord."
~ J.C. Ryle ~
(photo taken October 2011)