Tuesday, March 27, 2007

For baby Susannah ~ Dealing with grief

Sadly, baby Susannah was reclaimed by heaven after a very few days with her loving parents. This is one little angel Heaven has chosen to raise directly, and we must accept this, though we miss her already. Its tough to let go, even with the blessed hope of Heaven awaiting us. God grant her parents great peace and a strong abiding presence of the Love of God directly over them to ease their great grief. Our prayers are now focused on easing those who were left behind.

Its especially hard when an innocent or a strong saint goes home. When someone we know has lived a good life in Christ or is immune from the penalties of sin goes back to God, they go only to joy. Still we mourn, and we mourn deeply. We feel pain over their departure .

I think this is partly because those who knew their goodness best are often those who were greatly blessed by their presence on Earth. In our human wisdom, it seems unnecessary to face this pain and loss. My husband and I lost our first child to a late miscarriage, and even though we know he is safe in God the Father's arms, we still miss him sometimes: the child we never got to know. Now its a regret, a pain softened by time, and the arrival of the two children we were allowed to keep. I have no doubt that this early experience deepened our appreciation of the honor of raising these two beautiful young people. Every loss like this causes me to feel the pangs of it again - which inspires greater empathy in my own breast and makes me a better servant to those who feel this agony afresh. Still I have not been able to call this pain a joy, save in the light of Heaven's mercy toward that little one and those of us who remain.

I found great blessing in the song by John Michael Talbot "In God's Peace" from the Wisdom album

"The souls of the just are in God's hand. No torment shall ever touch them. In the view of fools they seemed as dead, and their passing away an affliction. But they are in God's peace, suffering a short time, now blessed indeed. But they are in God's peace, for the souls of the just are blessed indeed. Though the just die young, their souls are at rest, in a short time their souls are perfected. Snatched away lest evil pervert their minds. God spared them the weight of the world."

I felt a couple of the testimonies in the comments for baby Susannah were worth sharing::

The Lamb Story

There is a story of sweetness and beauty which flashes its light upon every couple who has lost a little one; this is a story concerning a custom in the Alps. In the summer time, when the grass in the lower valleys dries up and withers, the shepherds seek to lead their sheep up the winding, thorny, and stony pathway. The sheep are reluctant to take the hardships; so they turn back and will not follow very far. The shepherds make repeated attempts, but the timid sheep turn back. Finally, a shepherd reaches into the flock and takes a little lamb and places it under his arm, and them he reaches in and takes up another lamb and places it under the other arm. Then he starts out up the precipitous pathway; soon the mother sheep start to follow, and afterward the entire flock. They ascend the tortuous trail to green pastures.

The great shepherd of the sheep, the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, has reached into the flock, and He has picked our lamb. He did not do it to rob us, but to lead us out and upward. He has richer and greener pastures for us and He wants us to follow. Will you follow Him? You will if you catch a glimpse of Him. (Author Unknown)

He knows the hopes and dreams of each heart that loved her. He alone knows the sorrow that grips each one. When so much has been lost, He alone is our comfort, solace, hope and reason to meet each day.

As milestones of life pass, it will seem so unfair to not have this little one to mark them, but there is so much more to eternity than this. You will see other arms filled with what you longed for . . . others will learn to walk, to talk, to run and play. The tempter will whisper his bitterness and accusations and you will grieve and wonder the unanswerable questions. But God is faithful to fill your hearts and arms with things you could not have held without this loss.

For all that we crave, He wants better things for us. His love for all concerned is greater than our own. When it hurts too much for words, He knows. He understands. He grants comfort and peace that none else offers. Weep in His arms. Gaze steadfast into His face. See? He has wounds. He, too has suffered loss. He knows, and He will not forsake His own. SC


Another mourner offered this hymn as encouragement

Safe in the arms of Jesus

Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast,
There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.
Hark! ’tis the voice of angels, borne in a song to me.
Over the fields of glory, over the jasper sea.

Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe on His gentle breast
There by His love o’ershaded, sweetly my soul shall rest.

Safe in the arms of Jesus, safe from corroding care,
Safe from the world’s temptations, sin cannot harm me there.
Free from the blight of sorrow, free from my doubts and fears;
Only a few more trials, only a few more tears!


Jesus, my heart’s dear Refuge, Jesus has died for me;
Firm on the Rock of Ages, ever my trust shall be.
Here let me wait with patience, wait till the night is over;
Wait till I see the morning break on the golden shore.

There is hope for the departed who knew God but didn't walk in Christ as they should have done, especially if their loved ones will pray for them, but that is another post.

Welcome home to heaven, little one. We shall miss you until we meet you there. Blessed are we who mourn, for we shall be comforted. Blessed are you, child, who may now behold the face of God.

1 comment:

Chris said...

My condolences.