"Lord, I'm yours. Do with me as you please. Remove from me whatever or whoever you please. Take away whatever may be the things in my life I've been clincing to. Have your way in my life, Lord. Dwell in my heart -- without rival."
Maybe you've prayed a prayer like that. To be a Christian means loss. God knows that spiritual stamina and Christlikeness cannot be developed without a cross. In her book In This House of Brede, Rumer Godden describes the meaning of a certain monastery's logo (pictured here).
The motto was Pax ("peace"), but the word was set in a circle of thorns. Peace: but what a strange peace, made of unrelenting toil and effort, seldom with a seen result; subject to constant interruptions, unexpected demands, short sleep at night, little comfort, sometimes scant food; beset with disappointments, and usually misunderstood; yet peace all the same, undeviating, filled with joy and gratitude and love. "It is My own peace I give to you," not, notice, the world's peace.
I love that.
If you've ever experienced the loss of a loved one, may you accept the pax that God offers you -- a peace wrapped in thorns. Then make God's peace an oblation to him.