Barnabas Network International | Online Resources for Churches

LIFE ISSUES

THE DEATH OF A CHILD

by Mike Robinson


It was such a tiny coffin. A little life had become part of a young family for just 6 weeks - and then the numbing, shattering impact of a death and now a funeral service.

I sat as a visitor in the unfamiliar surroundings of that Church and my heart went out to that young but now childless couple who sat in the front row.

My mind began to drift down the hallways of memory and I recalled the time when my wife and I sat in another front row of another chapel looking at another tiny coffin that contained the body of our 4 month old son. How my heart ached for my friends that day.

Death always brings grief. But there is a special kind of grief that comes with the death of a child. When someone dies at a "good old age" we comfort ourselves that they have lived a full life. But what can we say when we are confronted with the death of a baby? What rationalisation will help comfort us then?

With the service over, the crowd melted quietly away and I travelled home alone with my thoughts and memories. I thought a lot about that couple who now faced the awesome task of accepting and adjusting to the tragedy that had crashed into their lives.

You see, there are so many things I don't understand and cannot explain. In fact, I am very wary of the person who provides trite answers to all of life's perplexities and dilemmas. Yet, in the midst of unanswered questions, I still am strongly committed to the absolute trustworthiness of God.

Yes, there are times when we face experiences that seem to slander the very idea that God is love...when all that is within us wants to scream "NO!" towards heaven.

It is at times such as those that we can still choose to look up and say, "God, I do not understand what you are doing - but I trust you".

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