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.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great testimony Joel.


    Thanks Joel for this encouraging devotional. Blessings.


    Very touching Joel. Thank you for our church bulletin this Sunday.


    Thanks Joel for a comforting word today.
    Blessings.


    Many thanks for your words of comfort. You are indeed a blessing to many in your daily readings and also in your community I am sure. I always enjoy and learn from your submissions. Blessings.


    Thanks. I needed that encouragement this morning. It is rough as I lost my wife recently to cancer Thanks be to God she had no pain just slept away. Thanks for your words, God does provide comfort for the sad and lonely There is hope for the Christian. Thanks again, may God bless you.


    So sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. God works in mysterious ways. Our daughter longed to have children but it was not meant to be. We can only trust God and that He knows what is best. Sometimes it’s hard to do.


    Dear Joel
    The death of a child indeed cannot be forgotten and only God’s peace and comfort is able to keep you sane. Only people that have been through such a trial are able to understand what you have gone through. Thank you for sharing this with us.


    Dear Joel – I read both this devotional and the one from 2013. Thank you for sharing your personal situation and the passages of scripture that helped you through this dark time. There are still times I question how tragedies could possibly work together for good, but in all situations, I cling tight to my Father and my faith. God Bless you.


    Hello Joel:
    Thank you so much for the devotional today. “All things work together for good”….. such an important lesson. And, as always, the most important lessons for us to learn, are right there in the bible.
    Hope you enjoy the rest of this Sunday.
    Blessings.


    Thank you so much for your excellent devotional. I appreciated your open sharing and also the scriptural references that you used. Psalm 46 has been a favorite of mine along with Psalm 27 for many years. I was also reminded of the first question and answer of the Heidelberg Catechism, which asks, “What is your only comfort in life and death?”


    Dear Joel thank you for your beautiful devotional today l can empathize with you having lost a child like you. Today is a tender day for me as it would have been the birthday of my mother who was a strong loving mother. I was luck to have her and was my port in all storms and not a day passes that l don’t think of both of them. I always get a kind of peace in your writing. Please don’t stop. God bless and all my love to you and yours.


    Dear Joel. Thank you for your devotionals. They are always well thought out and inspirational. My wife was a priest at an Anglican church. She died recently from cancer. We are quite certain that the cause of the cancer was Radon gas from living in her rectory for 10+ years. She had purchased a home that she was planning to live in after her retirement, that would have been this year.
    Thank you and please continue to inspire us with your devotionals.
    (Ontario)


    Hi Joel,
    This devotional is very powerful, all the more so because of your personal loss. Your reminder to give thanks daily for all our blessings including the strength to deal with challenges and bereavements in our lives.
    Coincidentally, January 29 is the anniversary of the bombing in the Aberdeen area of Scotland during WWW ll. To keep us safe. During the war my father moved us to a small village, thinking it would not be bombed. Tragically it was bombed and my mother and sister were killed. I survived with broken limbs only because my mother had put me under the stairs.
    Like you Joel, I often think of what might have been. I also reflect and give thanks for the life I am living.
    Blessings and kind regards.


    You will see your daughter in heaven, Joel. What a joyful day that will be!
    Thanks for writing, and God bless you.


    Well, that was a tear-jerker. But a beautiful message. Thanks.


    Beautiful testimony Joel. Thank you for sharing your experience.
    Blessings.


    Still speaking after 60 years as if yesterday!
    I am touched and comforted that the Lord has provided His radiant comfort to move on! Giving light to the darkest hour!
    All things work together for good for those who love God!
    Thanks be to God for the comfort to continue!


    Grace & peace, Thank you for your devotional. Just wanted to let you know that I believe you will meet your ‘lost child’ again and get answers to all those questions you have about her, only it will be in heaven. I remember a few years ago now, reading a book & watching a movie entitled ‘Heaven is Real’.
    The young boy in the story actually died and went to heaven, and there he saw his younger sister running around playing. When he later came back to life again on this earth, he told his parents what he saw. They were surprised because they never told him he had a sister! what he experienced seems to corroborate what is said by Jesus in Mark 18:14 “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
    God bless.


    Hello Joel,
    Your devotional brought back memories of our grandson who died a few years ago. During his short life he had endured various health issues, and spent much time in hospital. All had gone well during a surgery and the surgeon was pleased. We went to the hospital in high spirits; it would be a great day. At the hospital, my wife and I joined other members of the family in the ICU waiting room.
    Soon we were allowed to go in to see him sleeping. Suddenly, his heart monitor went off. Not long afterwards, we were told the sad news, that the strain of two surgeries had been too much. A memorial fund was established and the money raised was sent to a mission hospital. They were able to renovate a building at the hospital to become a children’s ward in his name.


    Joel: Thank you for your excellent devotionals. I always find them uplifting. This one especially comforted me at a low point in my life.


    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for the tender and touching message. And for reminding us: “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.”
    Keep writing.

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