As I reluctantly climb onto the stair-master for a brutal twenty minutes of exercise, my phone rings. This often occurs when I try to squeeze in a lunch-break workout, but this time, I welcome the excuse to delay. On the other end of the call, I hear my wife’s trembling voice. “I had a miscarriage,” she says between sobs.

“What?” I feel as if I hadn’t heard her words.

“There’s no heartbeat,” she says. ”I have to go. The doctor is back.”

“Our baby’s dead.” I say to myself when she hangs up. A war erupts inside me, struggling to accept what has happened.

“How can this be happening? Why would a good God let my innocent child die?”

  1. Does God’s goodness depend on the welfare of our child?

May it never be! For “no one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18). “The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made” (Psalm 145:9). “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8).

But still I struggled: “How could a good God let my child die? Perhaps he did his best, but Satan killed my child.”

  1. Was our child’s death beyond God’s control?

May it never be! For even our crucified Christ, though sinless, was, “delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). “Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?” (Lamentations 3:38).

After these reminders, I wondered, “Then is God really good? I mean, he could’ve saved my child, but he didn’t!”

  1. Is God to be blamed?

May it never be! “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,” (Romans 8:28).

However, I knew that I do love God, and I’d often prayed faithfully for my child. This leads me to my next point of reasoning.

  1. Is God our slave to be controlled by our prayers of faith?

May it never be! For “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). “Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it?” (Lamentations 3:37).

If God does all he wants, maybe he had stopped loving me, and therefore it was my fault that my child died.

  1. Is God’s love for us not dependent on Christ?

May it never be! For “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). And neither “height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

Prayer in Grief

Heavenly Father, please use us, through this circumstance, to magnify your greatness as you see fit. We are fully convinced you will carry out all your promises, but you haven’t promised your people pain-free lives on this side of heaven.

Thank you for your gospel of Grace: that although mankind has rebelled against you, you’ve sent your Son, Jesus Christ, who lived perfectly, died sacrificially, in place of guilty sinners, and rose from the dead; that all who believe in Christ are counted as righteous in him.

We ask for your comfort as the sting remains. For just as your servant Job said, “Though he slay me, I will hope in him” (Job 13:15), so also shall we hope in you. Thank you for the short, but sweet privilege of parenthood, as my wife faithfully carried Ethan these last four months.

I thank you for my believing wife as well, for there is no other person I’d rather grieve with.

Please strengthen her, as Mothers’ Day approaches, for she is now a bereft mother.

Our son has died, but how could we think we ever deserved him in the first place? “For who sees anything different in [us]? What do [we] have that [we] did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7).
“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord” (Psalm 127:3).
“For from you and through you and to you are all things. To you be glory forever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).

 

In what ways have you experienced God’s goodness in the midst of  pain?