June 9, 2016

What God Taught Us Through the Death of our Son ~ Part 1

Chris and I were blessed with the opportunity to share with a Bible study group what we had learned through the loss of our son, Mason. It is always a blessing to be able to share with others how the Lord has worked in our lives and continues to work in our lives. I started off our time sharing our son's story. If you are not familiar with it, you can read about it here and also listen to it here. The first thing we learned was....

What a blessing the church family is....
In the days after our son's birth and death we received an outpouring of love and help from our church family. We had visitors at the hospital, cards sent to us, meals prepared, flowers delivered, and our lawn mowed. It was a joy to experience the hands and feet of Christ at work in our local church body! Everyone's love and support was such a blessing to us as we moved through the days and weeks following Mason's death.

God will provide opportunities to share your faith in ways you never imagined...
Over the last 6 years the Lord has brought many wonderful opportunities for us to share our faith in Christ. Many of these opportunities grew from something that started to develop in the months following Mason's death.

When we left the hospital, we were given a bag with some flyers and a picture book. This bag, and the items in it, were given by the hospital to every family who has lost a baby at the hospital. After leaving the hospital, I also started reading "Safe in the arms of God" by John MacArthur. This book was a wonderful blessing to me.

As time went on I started to think how neat it would be to provide the hospital with copies of "Safe in the Arms of God" to include in their bags, but I was not sure how this would happen. Would they even be interested in a book that is so clearly based on Biblical truth? I also was not sure how we would come up with the money to purchase these books.

I talked to Chris about this idea and asked if he would write to the nurse who was over St. Vincent's grief counseling program. I could tell that Chris did not want to, but he agreed to write the letter.

We were surprised to hear back from the nurse that she was very open to the idea. We came to learn that many of the nurses who help families, who have lost babies, are desperate for a way to help these families. There is really no hope, but that of heaven, that they can offer to these families.

We found out that St. Vincent's hospital could use 120 books to give away in the year to come. The Lord was so faithful to provide those 120 books through a donation from John MacArthur, through Grace to You.

This outreach then grew into "4 Days To Eternity". As of today, through 4 Days to Eternity, we are now donating books to 7 hospitals and 4 funeral homes in the Indianapolis and surrounding areas. Thanks to the generous donations of many people, we have been able to donate well over 650 books. There have also been numerous other opportunities to share our story and our hope in Christ. If we are available and willing, the Lord will provide His children with opportunities to share and encourage others.

You need to continue to be attentive to the needs of others...
When you are mourning the loss of a loved one, continue to look outward and be attentive to the needs of others. Do not allow yourself to become self-centered and self-focused. The truth is that there are lots of hurting people out there and God may use you to bless and encourage them. In your loss, God may grant you wonderful opportunities to love and help others.

Next week we will continue with three more things God taught us through the loss of Mason....

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