Saturday, December 15, 2012

When a Child Passes

Dealing with the loss of a child can be traumatic, crippling and confusing. Not only heartbreaking, it is also in most cases unexpected, forcing the parent into a situation they are neither equipped nor prepared to handle. It is an unspeakable, mostly forbidden topic, dealt with only by those who find themselves thrust into it.

It is every Christian parent's desire that their children go to heaven - just not today.

How should we, as believers, handle the loss of a child? As born again Christians, we have placed our faith and trust in the truth that Jesus died for our sins, paid the price for our penalty, and redeemed us from the curse of this world into the blessed glory of the presence of God. Our passing is not a loss, but ultimate gain. We leave a place of sin and misery, and enter into a realm of perfect paradise, with no more tears, crying or pain. Heaven is real - more real than the dark deceptions and spiritual chaos we wrestle through down here. We sing of heaven, we talk of heaven, we happily look forward to heaven.

And yet, we are reluctant to release our most precious treasures to this blessed place of perfection and glory. Why? Because we love them deeply, deeper than anything in the world can reach. Our affection for them is intertwined with the most vulnerable components of our being, a fabric woven of goodness and life, called by the creator himself "family".

Tearing away from them is to shred that fabric. It uproots from a place more personal and painful than any other connection we experience. The bond with our child is greater than any other, as it should be. Releasing is pain.

And even though we all know these truths to exist, we somehow skip over them in our day to day thinking. Life is short. What is our life, but a mist that is here today and gone tomorrow. Children are like the flowers of the field that grow, bloom and pass all seemingly within the blink of an eye. We are not guaranteed days, months or years - in fact, we are warned to be prepared at any time, that we do not know when we die, or when the Lord returns. The simple truth is: Be ready.

Be ready.

Ready to go home. Ready to suffer loss. Ready to let go. It's hard, but inevitable. It may seem tragic, but in proper perspective it's glorifying, blessed and beautiful. Trust the Lord with your life, your treasure, your heart. As much as we hate to admit it - they were his children first, chosen in Christ before the creation of the world. Trust him. He will care for them, and we can look forward to that great reunion day, when all is said and done, and we're all back together again.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

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