The Discipline of Absence
1 Thessalonians 2:17
But we, brothers, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart…

A little party of friends had been making a fortnight's excursion among the Alps, in high enjoyment and good fellowship. Among them were two lovers in the first happiness of their engagement. The company broke up by degrees, and on the shore of the Lake of Geneva the young man took leave for a while of his betrothed. As the little steamer carried her away, and the twilight fell upon the lake, she sat alone, and her face grew pensive with a loneliness which was new to her. Her friends were walking the deck — a husband and wife, who for many years had walked together, and to whom sweet alike were the deck or the shore, Switzerland or England, if they were side by side. Their glances fell on the girl, and they said to each other, "Today she was happy, and now she is sad; but she could not spare the sadness. She will be the fitter for a wife's joy if she learns to love through missing him as well as through having him." So, perhaps, may higher intelligences look upon us in our saddest hours, and say, "Now they are learning to love."

(Free Methodist.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But we, brethren, being taken from you for a short time in presence, not in heart, endeavoured the more abundantly to see your face with great desire.

WEB: But we, brothers, being bereaved of you for a short season, in presence, not in heart, tried even harder to see your face with great desire,

The Apostle's Anxiety to Visit the Thessalonians
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