October 17, 2011

Verses that Comfort

Over the last few months, Chris and I have had the privilege of speaking at two different hospital sponsored memorial services remembering babies that have been lost while still in the womb or shortly after birth. Here is a summary of what we shared at those services...

I started and shared about Mason's short but precious life (you can read more here or listen here). My husband then went on to share the following... 

Having our son die on Father’s Day is by far the most heart-wrenching thing we’ve ever gone through. And yet in the midst of our sorrow and sadness we did have and experience the hope, peace and comfort that is found in God. Both Anna and I love, serve and follow Jesus and we have found forgiveness of sins and life in Jesus, through His perfect life, death on the cross, and then resurrection from the dead.

His grace & love sustained us through our sorrow and we never doubted that He was in control of our situation and Mason’s life. We firmly believe, based on what the Bible says, that Mason, along with every infant and young child that has ever passed on from this life, is in heaven safe with God.  And we believe that one day we will see Mason again made whole and complete.

This morning we wanted to share with you some of our favorite Bible verses that gave us comfort and peace during our time of sorrow.

God said to a man named Jeremiah...
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…”  Jeremiah 1:5a 

God knows us all and loves us all long before we’re ever born.

A man named David wrote...
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed from me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! Psalm 139:13-17.

God Himself is the Creator and the Author of life. Therefore, all life…even a very short life…is a precious life and a gift from God.

In Mark chapter 10 we’re told about how one day some people were bringing their little children, their infants and babies to see and visit Jesus. The account reads like this… 
"And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them 'Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.' And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them."  Mark 10:13-16

Jesus was indignant, Jesus was angry, that His disciples would try and prevent these little children from coming to Him. Jesus had a very special care and concern and love for these infants and little ones. Why is this? Why does Jesus love and care for these little ones? Throughout the Bible, we see the truth re-told again and again that God delights to save and use and love the weak and the helpless…and there is none so weak and helpless and innocent and precious as an infant...as a little child.

So what happens to little ones who die? Where are they? I believe that Jesus has already told us when He said….
“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”

There’s a man in the Bible named David. He was king over Israel and, like many of us, he had a son who only lived a few short days and then died. After his son’s death, David said something very profound and significant. He said....
"While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead. Why should I fast? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”  2 Samuel 12:22-23

David was comforted/confident in the fact that he would again see his son and go to be with his son.

As you well know, this world, this life, can be filled with trouble and sorrow and pain and death. That’s a fact. That’s reality. Is there any hope? Is there any comfort?

Listen to what Jesus said in: Matthew 11:28-29 
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”