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« Should Not Hearts Burn to Witness | Main | Lamentation for America »

The Mourner's Release

Nothing would appear to call the sovereignty of God into question more than the presence of death and the suffering it brings, expected and unexpected, especially when it involves a child -- from our perspective, the greatest expression of human innocence. A variety of reasons may be provided for the death of an adult, but it is that of a child that shakes the foundation of any worldview holding to ultimate goodness. Every rationality seems to fail both to comfort and relieve the questioner.

In recounting all the questions that I have been asked, this particular subject is presented more often because it stems not from hate, pride, or ignorance, but from pain, sorrow, and from the deepest feeling of betrayal. No other experience moves "why" more quickly from the interrogatory to the accusatory or a raised hand to a clinched fist. As I meditate on this and bring my own concerns before the Lord -- I had lost my first sister -- He reminds me of Jairus and of how He, Christ, brought the man's daughter back to life. Most importantly, though, it was revealed to me Jesus' posture towards physical death. To Him the girl was simply "sleeping." He was neither referring to "soul sleep" nor treating light the grief felt by Jairus and the man's wife, as Christ Himself was depicted as weeping at the graveside of Lazarus. He clearly felt all of our loss at that point. How much more God, our Father, understands the tears of a parent when by His very nature He is present at every birth and passing and by His love gave His only Son, who is the Life, for our restoration unto life. So, while it is true that Jesus classified the girl as asleep, knowing He would return her to life, it is equally true that He was properly defining death for us -- that of the spiritual -- yet even this holds no sway over His breath within those who place their faith in Him.

Believer, reach for the comfort of the Lord, and wear it as a robe within your season of anguish; though, reserve your mourning for those who are lost. Pour out tears in fervent prayer for their salvation that they be raised as children alive in His arms. As there were those who wept for your temporary loss of relationship with a child, weep for those who have not an everlasting relationship with their Father.

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