Are We to Embrace Cookie-Cutter Religion
In Missing Our Child, Are We Learning to Walk By Faith?
We watched a webinar by The Compassionate Friends tonight. One of the comments made by the speaker was,
"Child-Loss Grief is not an event but a process, and in most cases a life-long process."
Unfortunately for us child-loss grievers, it seems the church has adopted the same "Get-Over-It" syndrome that society has. So the child-loss griever very quickly feels alienated by such unrealistic expectations. The church's view of
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
~Philippians 4:13 (KJV 2000)
heads dangerously in the direction of,
"This child-loss grief can be resolved, and you need to get back to the way you were!"
Yet we child-loss grievers intuitively know,
None of Us Will Ever Be the Same Again!
Whatever happened to the sweetness of Christ who walks alongside us IN our grief?
Where is that same sweet spirit in our brothers and sisters from the church?
We child-loss grievers who experience the tender compassion of our Lord are changed and transformed by God in a way that is much different than the standardized version that the church has prescribed.
For one, we now know what's important, and the church doesn't always know that. It is only in suffering that you discover what is important and meaningful in life.
And if the church is defining spirituality in terms of prosperity and success, then all is lost because "prosperous" and "successful" people have no idea what is important in life for they too often "sell their souls to gain the world" and lose touch with the very Source of Life. With prosperity, you lose a sense of your values. Jesus Himself said "If you try to save your life, you'll lose it. But if you lose your life, you'll gain it."
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
~Matthew 16:25-27 NIV
Yet the church tends to push the absence of suffering as a sign of spiritual growth.
In contrast, our own Lord stipulated,
"In this world, you will have trouble..."
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
~John 16:33 NIV
Paul tells us you don't develop godly character without suffering.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
~Romans 5:1-5 NIV
Scripture tells us God's own Son learned obedience through suffering.
Even though Jesus was God's Son, he learned obedience from the things He suffered.
~Hebrews 5:8 NLT
These messages from Scripture are quite different messages than the ones projected from the church of today.
The church forgets Faith is the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for. Thus we will always grieve this side of heaven, but we will --by faith-- hold onto things not seen by the human eye, but known in the spiritual heart.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
~Hebrews 11:1 KJV
We long for the day that God redeems His creation from the fallen world that it has become, filled with death and dying, war and decay, brutality and mean-spiritedness, longing for it to be restored to the Creator's loving perfection He originally designed it to be.
So too we "hope for" the ones we now cannot hold in our arms, but will forever hold inside our hearts until that Day our hopes materialize.
Like the speaker in tonight's webinar said,
"We are more and more being encouraged to increase the bonds that we have with our (deceased) child (versus the old message of learning to "let go" of your loved one)."
We would add,
We child-loss grievers learn to stay connected to our child by practicing bonding with them in new ways. When we cannot hold them in the flesh, we must learn new ways to hold them in our hearts.
By doing so, we are --in essence-- learning to walk by faith...
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
~Romans 8:18-27 (NIV)
Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near...
Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
~James 5:7-8,10-11 (NIV)