2005-05-31 - Comfort From Loss
Summer Questions 2005, Question 4
Originally Published 2000-08-29
Job 14:1,2 Man, who is born of woman, is short-lived and full of turmoil. Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.
Short Background: My daughter, Carrie, died in a car accident June 1, 1997, two days after graduating from High School. She had rededicated her life to Christ about 3 wks. prior to her death. Group baptism was going to be held by our church at a local swimming pool the night Carrie died. (Carrie had chosen to wait until the next week to be baptized because she felt many of her friends would be too busy on "graduation" week-end to attend her baptism.) However, a young friend of our family, Marissa, was to be baptized that night and Carrie and I were going to be there for her. Carrie did not return home from the lake in time to go with me. At 6:20 p.m., as the baptisms were being accomplished, Carrie died. (She was the passenger and her friend ran a stop sign. The friend died also.) As Marissa was entering into a new life 'in' Christ, Carrie was entering into a new life 'with' Christ.
My Question: Punishment for waiting? Coincidence? Appointed time? Accidents just happen? "Oh God, give me a reason, I'm down on bended knees."
I have had this question for some time and I have read and re-read it and wondered what I could possibly say. There are no words that can take away the pain of your loss. In many ways I do not think that there is a simple answer. This side of eternity there may be no satisfactory answers for you.
The loss of a child is a painful experience that many go through. For some there is the added pain of not knowing or even fearing where that child stood in their walk and relationship with the Lord. One comfort I can offer is that you know where Carrie has gone. You have the blessing of knowing that she had re-dedicated her life to Christ. In some ways this is no small comfort. Our natural lives, in Scripture, are compared to a vapor (James 4:14), and a shadow (1 Chronicles 29:15). Life here is short, and our preparation for eternity is the real business of our lives.
Many have wondered why God does not simply take home His children as soon as they come to repentance and faith. This world is not the Christians home after all. The reason any of us stays here on this foreign soil is to reflect the glory of God to a dying world and to testify to His grace as His chosen instruments and ambassadors. Lesser pain than the death of a child can break a person. However, God has given you an opportunity to use this tragedy to testify of God's grace to you in spite of circumstances. We are to seek to glorify God. In one sense, when you now glorify God, your witness of a triumphant faith is stronger than someone who has not been through what you have. This is slight comfort I am sure. But there are not words sufficient to say. Except maybe these words from Revelation 22:1-5. They give us a picture of heaven, and that picture is glorious. It is good to remember that it is here where those we love, who were in Christ, have gone when their lives are done. And it is the wise person who spends this live preparing to enter this glorious city.
Rev 22:1-5 "And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve types of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; and they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. There will no longer be any night; and they will have no need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God shall illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever."
Soli Deo Gloria,