Friday, May 16, 2014

Friday's Faith - A Bereaved Parent's Most Important Question

"Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered questions, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one's thoughts."

~Elisabeth Elliot

Friday's Faith

A Bereaved Parent's Most Important Question

"Lend me your hope for awhile. 
A time will come when I will heal,
and I will lend my renewed hope to others." 

~ Eloise Cole

I had a dear Grieving Mother write to me this week after reading my post Tuesday's Trust - God Hears Our Heart's Cry , asking how to deal with the questions in her heart as to whether her precious son had accepted Jesus as his Savior before he had died.  My heart goes out to this precious mother as this is one of the most important questions we could ever ask regarding our beloved child. 

"How do you deal with not knowing if your child had accepted Jesus and was saved? My son was 31 and I don't know if he ever made a commitment. I think I could deal a little easier with his death if I knew that he was with our Lord. Please help me deal with this. thank you"

I am so thankful that this precious mother had the courage to ask her question here on my blog; I think it is a question every one of us mothers (and fathers) have had to cry out in our heart of hearts and in beseeching our Lord for His consoling assurance of the most important question of our lives. I thank you Dianne from the bottom of my heart for your honesty and candor. Your question is such an important one, and one that I'm sure almost every Christian parent ponders, that I decided it needed an entire post in which I could attempt to address it. 

In contemplation of answering this mother's cry from the heart, I am very aware that this is a cry from the depths of her heart and soul and demands an answer from the depths of my heart and soul, that part of me that is most connected to God's Holy Spirit who communicates His depth of love for me (and for all of us) in ways I cannot articulate. Words defy our heart's cry and the Spirit's tender arms wrapping around our broken hearts and souls. May God's Spirit wrap His arms around this dear mother (and each of you dear grieving mothers and fathers) even now…


"Faith does not eliminate questions.
But faith knows where to take them."

~Elisabeth Elliott

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

~Hebrews 11:6

Our God is always the only One who knows the answer to our heart's cry about our child's relationship with Him, and it is always to Him we must turn and cry out our concerns and questions. I do know our God is a God of love...

This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.

~I John 3:16a

When Jesus, God's Own Son, came in human form to earth, it was so that we could know God as He did, know His love, know His heart. In response to that love, we can begin to turn to Him, live in communion with Him here, and after death, have life again, to live with Him ever together in communion, both with Him and with all His beloved children throughout all eternity!

Each of us grieving parents has lost a beloved child. To understand how God sees our children, we can look to His Son Jesus and how He treated children while He was here on earth. When I turn to the Bible and read how Jesus saw children, I see that He always had a tremendous heart of love for them. For example, when His disciples turned the little children away from Jesus, as they did not want them "bothering" Him, Jesus reprimanded them, and declared,

"Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these."

~Matthew 19:14, Mark 10:14, Luke 18:16

Jesus expressed His love for children when He commanded us as to how to treat them:

"He (Jesus) took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in His arms, He said to them,

"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in My name welcomes Me; and whoever welcomes Me does not welcome Me but the One who sent Me."

~Mark 9:37

He continually told us we should be wise enough to humble ourselves like little children to be able to see Him for who He is, the very Son of God:

"I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was Your good pleasure. 
"All things have been committed to Me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him."

~Luke 10:21b-22

When He discovered from concerned parents that there were sick children nearby, Jesus lovingly went to them and restored their health. Even when He saw a deceased child being carried off to be buried and saw his bereaved mother walking behind, He went to the child and restored his life, and then handed him to the mother: 

"Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and His disciples and a large crowd went along with Him. As He approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out---the only son of His mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. When the Lord saw her, His heart went out to herald He said, 'Don't cry.'
"Then He went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, 'Young man, I say to you, get up!' The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother."

Another child was lying sick in her bed and died, but Jesus touched her and restored her life:

"While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. 'Your daughter is dead,' he said. 'Don't bother the teacher any more.' 
"Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, 
"'Don't be afraid, just believe, and she will be healed.'"

Jesus then went to the man's house, and despite all the naysayers around Him that insisted she was already dead and  so they laughed at Jesus, Jesus 

"took her by the hand and said, 
"'My child, get up!' 
"Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up."

Jesus demonstrated God's love for us, His ever wayward children, in Luke 15:11-32 when He shared the parable of the "lost son" in His story about what we call, the "prodigal son":

The rebellious son had asked his father for his inheritance early, before his father's death, then promptly went off to a distant country and squandered his inheritance in "wild living." After experiencing the consequences of such wild living, the son relented of his sins of rebellion, and began his return home to his father. Jesus describes the father's attitude toward his son as the son was returning home (as a demonstration of how our Heavenly Father us, His children): 

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him."

In the book of Acts, through the apostle Peter, God showed His plan for those who would be His children:

"Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off---for all whom the Lord our God will call."

This is Jesus' heart toward children, and toward us, His children. His heart represents God's heart. He and the Father are One. So, there is a deep love and tender compassion He has for all children, for all of our children. 

I cannot fully understand all of His ways of course because He is God, but I do know His heart, and His love for us and our children. A wise reverend once said, "…And when we cannot trace His hand, we must learn to trust His heart..." 

"God is too good to be unkind and He is too wise to be mistaken. And when we cannot trace his hand, we must trust His heart."

~Charles Haddon Spurgeon


Of course we all have struggles with faith, trust, understanding God, and understanding His ways. Even He assured us that His ways are much higher than our ways, and His thoughts are much higher than ours. He knows we cannot understand many things about Him:

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways." declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts."

~Isaiah 55 8-9

But He loved us enough to send His own Son Jesus to earth to reveal who God is, and to reveal God's love for each of us so that we could be saved eternally and live with Him forever in Heaven. (I cry as I write this because losing my child has given me a whole new depth of awe and thankfulness that God has that big of a heart, that He could willingly give up His Son to death for our sake.) I cannot even imagine it, but He endured the suffering and pain willingly on our behalf, and on our children's behalf, and it is that Amazing Love for us and for our children that allowed His Own Son to suffer and die for us. 

So amidst all our many questions, may we keep in mind that depth of Love He has for each of us. 

I often find that God doesn't answer my own questions on the spot. (He knows I am sure there is so much we will not be able to understand this side of Heaven.) But He meets me in my pain with that same Love that enabled Him to sacrifice His Son for us, and when I feel that tremendous love poured out for me, all my questions seem to melt away, as His Love speaks so overwhelmingly into my heart's cry that I know I am heard, and thus I somehow know He will handle every concern that is in in heart. Over time, He often does reveal His heart to me, in His own ways...

Cry out to Him, take your worst fears, your heart's deepest concerns, speak them out, or cry them out before Him humbly, on your knees before Him, while ever recognizing He is God and we are not. 

(I just told a client this week that I am so thankful for the 100th Psalm which says,

"Know ye that the LORD, He is God. It is He that hath made us and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture."

Psalm 100:3          

There is much we will not understand here on earth, but it will all be made clear in Heaven. Meanwhile, He is God, He loves us, and He cares for us and our concerns.)


I wrote out the message below a few weeks ago after reading the following quote by Renee Swope. My prayers go with each of you as you read today's post, that each of us could climb deeper into the Love of our Savior and our God so that our hearts may be tended, nurtured, and comforted deeply in Him…

"God wants us to ask hard questions and look for answers that usher us into the depths of His redeeming love."

~Renee Swope

As I read Renee's quote, I responded in my heart… 

~What a comforting thought! Our God is not threatened by our Deep Grief and all the Spiritual Upheaval that comes with it. He is bigger than all our Questions. He is bigger than all our Doubts. He hears our Heart's Cry and honors it. He knows we are hurting. He knows we are seeking. And He patiently waits until we are ready to ask and are ready to hear His loving response. 

He heard His Son's cry even, and especially, when He asked, 

"My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" 

~Matthew 27:46

He knows the doubts that such feelings of abandonment bring to us as well, and I am sure His heart breaks for us, but still He waits until we can "hear" His loving response... 

He never abandons us in such pain; it just "feels" like it because such pain brings such darkness with it, as we are thrown face-to-face with the works of Satan. Death is of Satan, not of God. Our God created Life, not death. Having to face death is having to face Satan's works, and all seems so dark without the Light of God. 

Wait for that Light. He will bring it in His time… 

Meanwhile, allow Him to caress you to His heart where His love will sustain you…

When the goodness and lovingkindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because  of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

~Titus 3:4-7


Look for tomorrow's post for more information on God's loving plan of salvation He put in place to save us from our sins to restore us to right relationship with Him so that we may freely commune with Him here, and someday to be able to live with Him, ensconced in His Love for all eternity!

(*In the Scriptures quoted, some capitalizations and emphases are mine)

1st graphic, Unanswered Questions Quote ~Elisabeth Elliot, thanks to

Sayings ~ Maria Kovarik ~Pinterest 
and to
Inspire  ~ vicToria   ~Pinterest 

2nd graphic, Faith Quote ~Elisabeth Elliot, thanks to 

Hebrews 11:6 

3rd graphic, Quote ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon, thanks to 

Bible  ~  janine m   ~Pinterest
and to

4th graphic, Renee Swope's Quote, thanks to

She was saved     ~     Aysha DeSilva     ~Pinterest

5th graphic, of ~Titus 3:4-7, thanks to

Artsy Bible Verses    ~    Deb Peabody    ~Pinterest
and also to,
Lord Jesus Saves †    ~     Lord Jesus Saves †    ~Pinterest


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