Finding Spiritual Peace After The Death of a Child
(Reflection - April 2002)

Just as “darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining” (Luke 23:44,45) when God’s only begotten son died, so does this occur when one loses a child. We come face to face with one of darkest hours known to any human.

Losing a child goes against the natural order of life. A child’s death violates an implicit generational contract, that our own children will survive us. Most experts believe that losing a child is one of the greatest tests any human can face. A child’s death is off the charts in this category.

A child’s death is unlike any other relationship that is lost. Your child’s relationship began with you at conception. Carrying the child for nine months in the womb, feeling the first flutter of life, hearing the heart beats at doctors appointments. Giving birth is the beginning of a bonded relationship that is supposed to outlive the parents. They are our future. They have our hopes, dreams, and prayers for a future that will lead them to the Kingdom one day. The child you have loved and cared for has died. He or she will never again be physically present in this life.

No matter what the world has to offer as one attempts to cope with this devastating loss, whether it be the finest of counselors, psychologist, medical care, support groups, or research on the topic of what caused your child’s death, nothing compares to the comfort found in the Word of God, prayer and coming to terms with your faith. “Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee” (Isa.26:3).

When my child died, I tried researching the topic of his death only to find myself feeling worse and desperate. I learned when death strikes unexpectedly, we long for a reason, an explanation, but often there is none. In desperation we try to make some sense of it, but often there are simply no pat answers, no ready conclusions. After trying this avenue first, eventually within a few months, coming out of my zombie-like state, my true source of comfort came from the Word of God. (Matt. 5:4).

Many of the realizations I write of took months to come to grips with after prayerful meditation on the Word of God and talking with other brothers and sisters. A normal grief reaction can be anger. I was angry with God for less than 48 hours realizing that He is a merciful Heavenly Father and “that all things work together for good to them that love God” (Rom. 8:28). Knowing that it would be easy to become ill from the stress of not dealing with this tremendous loss in a spiritual manner, much time was spent in prayer pouring my heart out to God in anguish and despair and asking for guidance and direction in correct thought (Psa. 142) I concluded, who am I to question God? Rather than seeking answers to the why’s and wherefores, I had to put that kind of thinking aside. Attending Bible School four months after my child’s death affirmed the fact that seeking spiritual peace was where I would find true comfort and peace of mind (Phil. 4:6,7).

I decided that if it was in God’s plan and purpose for my child to die, there must be positives and changes in peoples lives that I could find. The very day this child died, his older sibling knew he must be baptized as soon as possible. This older sibling was struggling with worldly choices in his life at this time, but that very day turned his life around. He immediately and obediently heeded the call of his Lord. I knew my oldest son’s baptism was one of the first positives. It was as though this child had laid down his life to save his older sibling’s life. Parents told me they appreciated their children in better relationships. Many young people seem to have a renewed zeal for the return of Christ. One more baptism occurred several months later by a young person moved by this death. Ten months later his younger sister was also baptized.

My search for spiritual peace has certainly strengthened my faith. It comforts me daily (Psa. 71:21, 119:50,76,Isa. 61:2) It’s made me yearn earnestly daily for the return of Christ, praying each morning before I get out of bed that He will return before I arise, or if I awaken in the night praying that it might be now, or watching out the window during the day to see if there are any signs.

We must look for the lessons in trials such as these or the death would have been in vain. This was too precious of a sacrifice to not seek God’s wisdom in coming to peace with it. God is our very source of strength in our trials. Shown by people in the Bible, troubles are normal until Christ comes

We must face our trials so we can give honor and glory to God. If we turn away from God, we lessen His power and authority in our lives. We give glory and honor to God by asking for His strength and help (Psa. 29:2).

I feel God had a plan to bring out what he needed for us to learn through my child’s death. I believe that when Christ returns, and Yahweh has fully worked out His perfect will, this death will be woven into the final tapestry of His eternal design. The few positive events that have occurred following this death are probably just a small part of the bigger picture we will later see.

Taken by itself my child’s death was senseless. Put in the spiritual light it was meant for, this senseless tragedy will somehow work to our eternal good. A child’s death is not a riddle to be solved or a question to be answered. Instead it is a mystery to be entrusted to the wisdom of Yahweh (II Cor. 4:16-18).

For any brother or sister who has ever lost a child, I pray that you find the same comfort I’ve found in God’s Word. For all who have never lost a child, I pray that you will never experience this veil of tears. Please keep those of us in this horrible category in your prayers as we are never the same again.

Losing a child brings the darkest hour ever, just as the sun became darkened when Christ died, then eventually the sun will shine again in your life as you find spiritual peace and strength through our Holy Creator, Yahweh Elohim. “For the Lord is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psa. 84:11).

Deborah Kauffman

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