“God, I asked for You to make me more like You. While I was waiting, our baby girl died. It was a difficult time and I was angry with you for allowing that to happen. Then one day I remembered that You also lost a child and I began to realize that through loss, we had something in common. Without me even realizing, You had answered my prayer.”
Our daughter Faith would have been 11 years old today. I am not trying to start a theological debate about God’s perfect will versus His permissive will, by what I wrote above. I just remember it was a great confort to me when I realized that Father God could genuinely identify with my pain and my loss.
Last year some dear friends of ours also lost their daughter just after birth. As they navigated the pain and bewilderment of the situation, I faced my own memories of giving birth to a still born daughter. One can never imagine the emotional pain that accompanies such an experience, nor can one going through it imagine the pain will ever end. But after 11 years I can promise…the pain does end! It does not last forever.
In John 16:33 Jesus warns us that in this world we will have trouble. Later in the first chapter of James we are encouraged to count it all joy when we face various trials because they produce in us steadfastness. Rest assured we are never promised an easy life. We will experience difficulties, but through those dark times Christ promises to never leave us nor forsake us.
As you walk through your own difficulties I pray that you will find hope in knowing that you are not alone. God too has suffered and through your suffering you are becoming more like Him.
One day as I walked through that dark season a good friend looked at me and said, “Your face is smiling, but your eyes are not.” After 11 years, this I can promise you. You will begin to smile again and it won’t just be superficial.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. – James 1:2-4
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…