The death of a child makes one sick. Literally. There is no good way to explain such an event; no way to justify it; no way to make it not-so-bad. Whether accident or disease, suicide or murder, there is no making it right. Here in Minneapolis over Christmas, a three-year old was killed while walking up the stairs in his own house. The stray bullet came from outside; the killer has yet to be found.
And on this day, December 28th, we mourn the premature deaths of other children — those boys under age two in Bethlehem who fell to the sword due to Herod’s murderous order. Jesus was safe. But the other boys weren’t.
What about young children whose parents don’t have God speaking to them in dreams, warning them to take cover, to run away from danger? What about children who die from cancer or starvation or at the hands of their parents? What does the Bible say about the unspeakable loss of a child? Is there any comfort to be found?
Two thoughts, both from Romans 8:
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (8:26)
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (8:38)
In this life there IS pain too deep for words. In this life horrible things occur. But we are not alone. God is there, groaning and holding us through grief which shakes us to our core. Nothing, not even death, will separate us from children and others we love. We remain, together, in the arms of Christ. Forever.