A TRIBUTE TO
How does a mother or father; grandfather or grandmother; brother or sister find comfort after losing a precious child? I am so glad that Paul made it plain that hope in Christ in this life is ever so comforting. But, he said, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ we are of all men most miserable.” Our hope is not limited to this life even though it is in Christ.
I think those Bible verses speak not only to those who believe in Christ but to all those who loose a loved one to the great enemy death. The last enemy which will be destroyed is death. I Corin. 15:26.
- And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. 20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. 1 Cor 15:19-20 (NLT)
To be very honest, I cannot direct you to any one scripture that gives a specific assurance of salvation for anyone who does not believe in Christ. I, however feel sure that God in his infinite wisdom and mercy knows and has determined just exactly what he plans to do. But though some things are hard to be understood (2 Peter 3:16), there are verses which do appear to me to give insight into the question of babes and children and salvation.
Jeremiah’s answer from the Lord gives comfort as it did in the days of Herod. Because of the Savior who was born and protected from the envy of Herod we can find the same comfort as was offered following the above verse:
- Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi. 17 Then what had been spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: 18 "A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, WEEPING AND GREAT MOURNING, RACHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN ; AND SHE REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED , BECAUSE THEY WERE NO MORE." Matt 2:16-18 (NASB)
While this prophecy does have prophetic implications regarding the nation of Israel, it also has implications with reference to the bringing of our children back to their own territory from the land of the enemy (death). Rachel refused to be comforted. Finding comfort in this type of circumstance is difficult to come by. The level of sorrow seems to be much like the incident with David in Ziklag and the Amalekites.
- Thus says the LORD, "Restrain your voice from weeping And your eyes from tears; For your work will be rewarded," declares the LORD, "And they will return from the land of the enemy. 17 "There is hope for your future," declares the LORD, "And your children will return to their own territory. Jer 31:16-17 (NASB)
- When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep. 1 Sam 30:3-4 (NASB)
THE GOD OF
When things happen to our family, which we feel our duty to protect and defend, there is a sense of sorrow unlike any other I should think. We want to blame ourselves. What could we have done that we did not do? How could God have allowed this to come about? Please do not forget the words of Job after having suffered all his losses: losses of family members, personal property, and the boils on his flesh. Even after all that he said:
THE BAD TIMES
How many of us trust God enough to say that? If God were going to kill us could we still find it in ourselves to trust in him? Even though Jesus suffered and asked his Father to let the cup of suffering pass from him: even though he cried “Why hast thou forsaken me”? (Mat. 27:46) in spite of all this he continued to follow the path laid out for him to tread. It was not an easy path; it was even the most difficult of paths; but he walked it nonetheless. He realized that:
- "Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him. Job 13:15 (NASB) The NLT says, (God might kill me, but I have no other hope).
- “The God of the mountains; is still God in the valley. When things go wrong, he’ll make them right. The God of the good times; is still God in the bad times. The God of the day; is still God in the night.” (A song made popular by the McKameys.) A song taken from the following verses:
- And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 1 Kings 20:28 (KJV)
JESUS IS THE
When Jesus said to Martha, “Thy brother shall rise again”; her reply was “I know that; he will live again in the resurrection at the last day.” What Jesus wanted her to do was to realize that he is the resurrection and the life. As we put our trust in him we can find comfort in the midst of sorrow. Comfort sometimes is so illusive until we can decide that Jesus is the resurrection and the life.
RESURRECTION AND LIFE
- Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:23-26 (NASB)
GEM OF COMFORT
The nursing child is the child who has yet to be weaned. In the day when the cow and bear will graze together; the lion will eat straw; when they will not hurt or destroy; when the earth will be filled not only with the glory of the Lord but also with the knowledge of the glory of God; in that day the sucking child will play by the hole of the cobra. It seems apparent to me that there will be small children even babies in the kingdom of God. Malachi said:
- Also the cow and the bear will graze, Their young will lie down together, And the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 The nursing child will play by the hole of the cobra, And the weaned child will put his hand on the viper's den. 9 They will not hurt or destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord As the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:7-9 (NASB)
In essence we all are and will in some sense be like little children. Compared to the age we will attain in God’s great tomorrow, we appear as but a baby. With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 2 Peter 3:8 (NASB) We will all have some growing to do and will have all of eternity in which to grow, ever surrounded by and filled with the knowledge of the glory of God.
- “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, (the KJV says grow up) leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. Mal 4:2 (NLT)
WITH OUR YOUNG
I particularly like the firm stand that Moses took when confronted by Pharaoh, who wanted only the adults to leave Egypt and leave the children behind. It speaks of the connection parents have with their children. This speaks of just how important our children are to us. To the mother who carries the baby for nine months; to the father who anticipates the new life becoming a part of his family; to the grandparents who see their life being replicated by their progeny. Pharaoh was a little concerned that the “little ones” should stay behind and let the others go; but not so with Moses. “We shall go with our young and our old.”
AND OUR OLD
- So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh, and he said to them, "Go, serve the Lord your God! Who are the ones that are going?" 9 Moses said, "We shall go with our young and our old; with our sons and our daughters, with our flocks and our herds we shall go, for we must hold a feast to the Lord." 10 Then he said to them, "Thus may the Lord be with you, if ever I let you and your little ones go! Take heed, for evil is in your mind. 11 "Not so! Go now, the men among you, and serve the Lord, for that is what you desire." So they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence. Ex 10:8-11 (NASB)
THE KINGDOM BELONGS
The most compelling of all is the things said about children and the way both Moses and Jesus elevated the sanctity of the lives of our children:
TO SUCH AS THESE
“The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Alas, we must be converted and become as little children.
- Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." 15 After laying His hands on them, He departed from there. Matt 19:13-15 (NASB)
Losing a child ranks high in the life events that cause the most damage to our heart. Hopefully, in time the pain will be replaced with hope and a grand anticipation of what the future holds; when creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God; Romans 8:21 (NASB) when all of God’s children will go forth and grow up as calves of the stall. (Malachi 4:2) David was right on target when he said:
- Unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 "And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; Matt 18:3-5 (NASB)
- Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. 5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; Psalms 127:3-5 (NASB)
Written by Dennis J Baldwin; touched by the love of a grandfather who lost his grandson to the enemy death when he was only eight months. “A tribute to this family’s love for little Charlie Pooh”. The rest of the story from Granddad:
"Our family recently lost our eight month old grandson, Charlie. He was what appeared to be a perfectly healthy little boy, full of joy. Our grandson was put down for a nap and when he was checked on later, Charlie had quit breathing. As you can imagine we all are devastated. Right now we feel robbed. We don’t believe he is in a better place like some try to tell us. But there is still some questions about the resurrection status of someone as young as Charlie.
We know that so often we just have to trust a loving God with the unanswered. But as you can probably understand our faith has been shaken to its core with the death of our Charlie "Pooh". We prayed for Charlie daily, his Dad and Mom prayed often, "Dear God grow Charlie up big and strong and a man after your own heart". Our faith struggles much right now. It is hard for us to encourage each other as we are all broken. As with many families, Charlie's parents both worked and so he spent his days at grandma and grandpa's house. So, Charlie Pooh was more than a grandson, he was the focus of our days.
His parents selected a cemetery on a rolling hill and Charlie is in an area designated as "Babyland". Down in the valley below is the Veteran' cemetery where grandpa and grandma will be buried when our time comes. I can imagine when that last trumpet blows and the dead in Christ rise, I can look up the hill and wave to Charlie and yell, "Hey Pooh this is what we been waiting for". May God speed that day when the Lord Jesus will come. We would all greatly appreciate any insight you have gleaned from scripture about children like Charlie.” *