Every morning that we are home together, and again in the evening, my lovely wife reads for us from one of several devotional books that she enjoys, it is always a blessing to hear her voice speak of the things of our Lord, and we not only grow closer to each other while she does so, but also towards Christ. This particular evening the story was quite sad, for not only had the woman that was recalling the event one that lost her young daughter in an auto accident, but three of this girl’s friends in separate incidences had died within the last year. The death of a loved one is a very personal experience, and whether they are saved or not, the occurrence can be devastating, especially when they are so young.
I ask now though for you to put aside these thoughts of the moments of death, if you will, for in this letter I would like to bring up several items in this small testimony that seemed as if they would be pertinent to all of those who call Christ Lord. These are thoughts that we should endeavor to place within our minds before instances such as these, or any that we are not expecting that bring certain questions to enter into our minds about the sovereignty of God, His plans for us, and our response to them. The mind that contemplates the Word of God regularly, the spirit within us that constantly seeks to be obedient to the Holy Spirit of God, and the heart that understands that whatever comes onto the path of the followers of Jesus Christ is by His will, and for His glory, will see that we are to trust, no matter what. Please do not infer that I am being callous in any way when speaking of these events, for my intention has always been the same in these letters to you, to encourage and convict, and in this letter we will discuss many difficult issues, but if they are not spoken of now, then when, and if, similar instances occur in your life, you will be just as unprepared as the woman in this account was, and we must be more. We must always remember Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn,” but there are other things that must be brought to mind, things that will allow us to lean on our Lord at all times, and continue diligently on the path that He has set for us, no matter the circumstances.
One of the first items that that I noticed in this account did not really surprise me, but does bring up one our first points, “How could God allow our beautiful daughter to be taken away from us.” In this statement, which we have all read or heard, ‘How could God allow’ strikes me initially as an individual that does not understand fully the sovereignty of God, that He is, always has been and always will be in complete and total control of everything, and we have no right to question Him in anything that He does. If God allows, then that means it was His choice, His decision to act in a way that is according to His nature, and He never varies in this, the character of God never changes. When we add in the addition of the words ‘to be taken from us,’ we are now adding an external force into the equation, something or someone has asked permission to perform an act, and Almighty God has allowed the performance of that act.
Human beings are allowed a certain freedom from our Lord, and those freedoms must always fall within the boundaries of His written Word, the Scriptures, they are the final authority, there will be no more words from our Heavenly Father, if He was to speak to us from heaven, He would only repeat what He has already written down for us. So for this person to say, “How could God allow our daughter to be taken from us,” whether she understands it or not, was saying is that Satan asked permission to kill this woman’s daughter, if she was saved, if she was not, then he is the god of this world , and for the lost he need not ask permission. Hard words, I know, but truthful, either Satan asked for, and received permission to kill this young girl, he took her for he has every right to do with the lost as he pleases, or God ended her life out of the wisdom and knowledge that He alone posses in these matters. In either case, God still remains sovereign.
As this story continued, it was mentioned that three other teens had also died within a short period of time from the death of this woman’s daughter, and she next say’s “How can we still trust Him.” What has trusting God have to do with the loss of a loved one, why would our trust in His control of every aspect of our lives be debated, or even questioned. Whether it is a daughter or mother, a father or son, nothing can be taken from you that you do not own, all are Gods, our responsibility towards our children is to place them in the caring hands of the Lord, and then not question Him when He does as He sees fit. If we are going to be obedient servants of God, then at all times, no matter the circumstance, we must trust Him, if you cannot trust God, you will not be able to trust anyone, ever, for all of mankind will fail you, and only His promises are true and faithful.
The next statement that caught my attention was this, after the words of possibly losing trust in God for her daughter and these other children dying, “Taking with it our reason for living.” I mean no offence by this statement, but anyone who professes Christ as Lord of their life has no right to say that their reason for living is their children, or anyone else in their lives, our reason for life is to be Christ, and the glory of God our only ambition in life. One of the main reasons we are here on this planet as Christians is to serve each other, in fact it is commanded in many places of Scripture, not only for those we love and care for, but all of our neighbors, (Luke 10:30-37) but to say that they are our reason for living places our Lord in second place, as it were, and He will suffer none to do this to Him. Our reason for living is not our children, our parents, or any other human being, not even ourselves, it is Christ the Lord, and He alone should be the purpose and desire of our lives.
The last portion of this evening’s devotion was that of the reunion of this woman with her daughter in heaven, what she looked for above all things. I cannot speak for the grieving in this area, especially the great and terrible loss of a child, for though I also have lost family and friends, some saved, some not, to death, a child’s death must be beyond devastating to the parents. But for the Christian to say that the first one that they want to meet in heaven is the ones who have gone before them again places the One who gave them to them in the first place behind those loved ones. If our Lord calls me home before my beautiful wife, and somehow I knew that she would desire to see me before the one who hung on that cross for us, I would hide myself in the furthest reaches of heaven, for it is the Lord Jesus Christ that must come before anyone or anything.
I am sorry to bring such a difficult subject to mind, I realize that for some of you this letter may have seemed callous and uncaring, but it was far from my intention for it to be so. I can think of no other way at this time to express these words to you, Jesus Christ, if He is truly Lord of your life must come first, no matter what He allows, no matter how little you feel you can trust Him at the moment, no matter who it is you think you should see first when you arrive home to glory, if He is not first, then your perspectives are skewed, you are misrepresenting your self within your own thoughts of what a Christian is to be. Obedient, submissive, conforming to the image of Jesus himself.
My friends, the One who spared not His own Son for you wants to give you the entire glorious kingdom of heaven, and anything that you ask in His name, what should you hold back from Him who has given and offered so much.