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In my humble opinion, the lost of any child regardless of their age at passing, is the most devastating tribulation one can experience in this life! The lost of a child cuts one off from the future where all that might have been reside, sadly the wounds are deep and do not heal with time as some would say. Rather one accepts the hand you were dealt and somehow you come to terms with it in the best ways you can on a daily journey up the mountain. There is a peace for believers in knowing that at some future time and place all your questions will be answered, here I pity the unbeliever for they have nothing..................! As for providing encouragement thread lightly as your in a minefield where the deep wounds expose raw emotions of anger and a nameless unspeakable pain walks the dark landscape! Keep them in your prayers, till they can find their way back from their dark journey. I submit the Jewish "Sitting Sheva" a mitzvah (literally "commandment" usually interpreted as "good deed") of kindness and compassion. Traditionally no greetings are exchanged and friends simply wait for the mourners to initiate conversation, or remain silent if the mourners do not do so, out of respect for their bereavement. Friends will actually come over and sit on the floor and bring comfort to the grieving primarily through their silent presence. And please friend there is a time for every purpose under heaven, hold your great scripture recital for a later time, here use duck tape if you have to! In the Lord's freedom and mercy....................warrior on
I lost a son at age 42, and three grandchildren. I still weep, but God in His perfect wisdom gives and takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. It i devastating for a while and the grief becomes overwhelming. But when we least expect it we can open our hands and give them up to the Lord. Our sovereign Lord has a purpose in everthing. It is through these times that a curse can become a blessing. We are in the valley, but there is one who sticks closer than a brother. I learned to trust in the Lord with all my heart, and not lean on my own understanding. To acknowledge Him, and He would direct my path. I had no path of my own. I still weep. But, greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world. Yes, it is times like these that no one can comfort us. There are no words. Words are meaningless. I did remember Job but it was no comfort to me. But the Lord will not let us grieve forever. We will see the Sonshine again. These are my own experiences and probably like no others as the Lord does not work the same in all. But I love Him who saved me by His grace more than I ever did before. He has promised never to leave us and I have experienced that truth. I don't have it all in a box. I still have dark days. But I know the one who keeps me even through those times.
I lost my Sweet Daughter at age 14 in a car wreck! I do not say accident due to the one who did it admitted it was done with his full will! I long ago forgave him, but only with my JESUS'S help! I Found my heart so broken it was a physical as well as soul PAIN! I can not ever really explain what this horrendous and devastating Loss in mine and my families lives was and forever with us. I'm sharing what did help at the time- those that came in Love and hugged and just was- not talking or doing but just Being there for us. Later telling stories of how my daughter touched their lives(there were so many strangers come to her funeral and telling how she touched their lives)! My Wonderful Daughter Truly Loved Our JESUS, and even though only 14, She touched many lives in Her short years! I Thank GOD for having her for those years, even while missing her desperately these last 35 years!
Tell the person who has lost a child to stay reminded of the good times they had with their child. You don't say how long they were gifted with the life of the child; but if the child had grown considerably, tell them to remember the kid's first steps, first words, first day of school etc. If there were some good times, remember them. Paul said it like this: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, whatever is lovely or commendable, if there is any excellence, if there's anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8). Paul was in a cold dark prison dungeon when he wrote that to the Phillipian church. They were worried sick about him. He was encouraging them to stay in faith. He's saying to them, 'there is a way to encourage yourself, and it accords with whatever you allow to design your thoughts. Put your mind on the things that encourage your heart.' (we must remember: 'heart' in scripture means 'mind,' 'brain.' Our heart doesn't devise anything; it's our mind that must be regulated; which means we're to keep our mind on things that encourage our mind (thinking). That's what you're to do; you're to remind the bereaved of those honorable and lovely times they shared with their deceased child. (All they have now are memories; the good times will get them through these bad times). That's what Paul was doing; he was reminding the church of the good that God had done in their lives. So he told them to rejoice! (I don't think you should go that far; that can get you cussed out for being a little too spiritual; even Jesus was ridiculed when he told mourners to stop mourning the death of a little girl, that 'she's only sleeping.' Matthew writes 'and they laughed at him (Matt 9:24). Jesus had the last word when he raised the little girl back to life). By all means, tell the bereaved to continue in fervent prayer; "and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding (makes no sense at all) will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (vs7) Give it to God! How do we do that? Continuous fervent prayer! Cry out to God! Tell God how much it hurts! Give it to Him! "You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. You will increase my greatness and comfort me again." (Psalm 71:20,21) The psalmist was telling God that he didn't think it was over; he didn't think God would leave him bereaved. He was sure that he'd see God's goodness again. (he used the word 'again' 3 times in those 2 verses). That's how you give it to God! Tell your bereaved friend to 'Give it to God!
'We suffer the loss of one kind of love so we can learn a deeper form of love." What are we supposed to do when 'sin,' (ours or others), takes a precious child from us? Bear in mind, that 'sin,' in its most basic definition, is our overall condition of 'falling short' of GOD's holy standards for us, which ALL of us do as human beings. This is why we experience 'tragedy' at all. The question is, what can we do about it? Jesus explains that our experience as humans is always about 'reaping what we sow,' whether we experience joy or tragedy and that there is even a 'divine law' that returns upon us EXACTLY what we put out into the world. What could a parent possibly have done to bring this type of unspeakable tragedy back upon themselves? Secular counselors will quickly dismiss such a notion as 'heartless, pointless, and absurd.' Yet, Jesus tells us that this is ALWAYS true and that we cannot find freedom from pain and oppression until we embrace the TRUTH, (John 8:32). Has anyone else's child on earth ever been 'taken' in this way? Of course. Is there is any measurable connection between that tragedy and this one? Your nation is very prosperous, but it admits to an ongoing 'price of progress' that requires things like 'collateral damage' and 'war casualties.' It also admits that sicknesses and injuries caused by industrial processes are 'widespread and unavoidable.' The TRUTH is that WE collectively caused this 'return of evil' upon ourselves. While it is true that as a parent or individual person you are no more to blame than anyone else in society, (Jesus even states this plainly and illustrates it, Luke 13:1-5), you are equally vulnerable to the reciprocal effects of our collective evil. Jesus says that the solution is to 'repent' or 'we will all likewise perish.' (Luke 13:5). What exactly does He mean and how could this possibly help 'heal' someone who just lost a child? To 'repent' means to do a 180 degree turn on something we currently believe or passionately embrace. In this case, it is how we are viewing our own personal tragedy. Jesus 'paid it all' so that we don't actually need to spill any more blood or suffer to 'advance' as a society. That is the TRUTH. How can I demonstrate that I truly believe this? My 'tragic' experience now uniquely qualifies me to reach out to others who have this same experience, breaking through the pain with the TRUTH and a new mission in life. What theologians call Christ's 'law of reciprocity' (Matthew 7:1-2), is a very real phenomenon that affects us all. The time in between our society's own 'act of evil' and its return back upon us is the time GOD gives to us to 'repent.' This represents the limit of His patience with us before another 'lesson' arrives. Those lessons are very hard, (in fact, EXACTLY as hard as we collectively meted out to others), but they are also the clearest evidence that GOD loves us because He only disciplines and teaches those He genuinely accepts and loves as His children, (Hebrews 12:5-8). They are also direct proof of GOD's impartiality and fairness, since He did not let us 'get away' with anything. A parent who lost a child now has a divine invitation to 'wake up' everyone else around them to their own need to 'repent.' This is how they can heal because 'love covers a multitude of sins,' (1 Peter 4:8). Specifically, the next verse reveals exactly how: "Be hospitable to one another without grumbling." (1 Peter 4:9). Most of us see 'grumbling' as a minor offense, but this and 'disputing' are the two major things that turn us 'crooked and perverse,' (Philippians 2:14-15). Those are the two attitudes that immediately pervade someone after the loss of a child or any form of shared love. We complain and argue with GOD and others. This causes us to 'turn inward' and become isolated. The solution? CHOOSE to be 'hospitable' which is the exact opposite. We 'turn outward' and become open to receiving others. That act is what 'heals' us.
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