An Infant's Death
East Orange, N.J.
(Author's Note: These words, which seem so inadequate, were recently spoken for a couple who lost an infant son. They are passed on with the hope that they will be helpful to others.)
One of the comforts, of God's Word is that it gives us an example or teaching to help us in our distresses regardless of the situation of life in which we find ourselves. God in His mercy has made it so. " God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1.)
You may feel that you are now suffering as no one has ever suffered before. Yet long ago David also lost an infant son. His love, as yours was the love of a parent; his thoughts were the thoughts of a parent. But more than that, his thoughts were the thoughts of a child of God. Listen to his words: "While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who knoweth whether Jehovah will not be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me." (II Sam. 12:22-23.)
This passage reveals the mature thinking of a saint of God. First, David realized that there is no return from death. "Can I bring him back?" We realize the only answer is no. All our prayers and our tears will not avail to bring him back. If there be no return to earth, then it is important that we who still have life use that life in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. If the Lord wills that we continue to live, let us resolve to serve Him.
Secondly, David recognized that he too must someday go the same way. "I shall go to him." David believed that there would be a re-union in another land. David believed the child was safe; that he was happy. Therefore, David would look beyond the open grave that would receive the tiny body to another land that someday he himself would know.
But, my friends, to rejoin his son, David realized, as we must, that he would have to serve the Lord. "Blessed in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." (Psm. 116: 15.) Parents, the child is safe. He has been removed from an earth of sorrows to a land of peace. You cannot bring him back, but you can go to him. Jesus said, "I am the way." If through Jesus' blood you become pure and clean, you may rejoin one who never knew the taint of sin or the wrinkles and ugliness of unrighteousness.
God' pity broken little families
Where there were four and now there are but threeWhere there were three and now there are
but one or two;
Pray, comfort these as Thou alone canst do.Send peace to houses where there is a crib,
Too wrinkleless its wild-rose-bordered spread,
Too smooth its pillow that, brief days ago,
Hollowed to hold a tiny, curl-framed head;God, teach all broken little families
To bear such losses self-conqueringly . . .
Understanding each other, day by day, more instinctively
Forbearing each other, day by day, more patiently,
Growing, day by day, more closely into
oneness with each other.
(Violet Alleyn Storey)
The words of Jesus come ringing down over the centuries to comfort our hearts in our present distress. "Suffer little children to come unto me... for of such is the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:15.) LET US PRAY.
Truth Magazine VI: 7, pp. 20