Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Wonderful Grace Of Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
Today, our firstborn would have been 60 years old. I wrote about that a few years ago in devotional called God's Comfort. In it, I explained in some detail the events of the day when our first child was born but did not live.
Over the years, I think about that day quite often. Perhaps I am living in the past too much, but the death of a child cannot be forgotten. I often think about the fact that we did not get to hold her, or see her take her first steps, or start school. How different things would have been had she lived. Would she have married and have children of her own? Would we have more grandchildren than we have now? So many questions and no answers.
On that day so many years ago now, I picked up the Bible and read Psalm 46, which has become one of my favourite passages in the Bible:
Psalm 46:1-2a,10a,11 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear. Be still, and know that I am God. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. (NKJV)
Reading this psalm that evening gave us the strength to cope with a situation so suddenly and unexpectedly thrown upon us. It gave us God's comfort at a time of great distress, and this has continued on through the years. We are blessed with three children, all in their fifties, nine grandchildren, all adults, and five great-grandchildren.
We have come to the conclusion that whatever happens, God is always with us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (NKJV)
To be honest, I was not aware of it at the time, but when I think back, I now realize how that personal tragedy has helped us to be able to talk to others about their problems. Through my pastoral care at the local Long Term Care Centre, as well as through involvement in churches in the area, I have had the privilege to talk to the seriously ill and the bereaved, and I have been with some people as their life was ending. Because of our own experience, I was able to speak words of comfort when needed.
Instead of waiting to see the good that comes when trouble strikes, we need to learn how to give thanks in advance that all things work together for good.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (NKJV)
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we all go through trials and tribulations in our lives. There are times when we suffer, mourn, and worry; times when we don't know what to do or what to say. But then, we know that You are our refuge and strength and that You will give us comfort. We thank You in Jesus' name. Amen.