Do Not Despair


I struggled a bit with whether or not I should post this message. Is it useful or silly – or is it even that good – but in the end, I realized my hang-up was once again my pride, so here it is.

I am posting below a copy of a message I wrote on, an online community of 4,000 or so people from the floral industry. In a thread of posts offering sympathy and prayers for our loss, one long-time friend began a rant about this and other “injustices” he and people close to him have recently experienced and accusing God of crossing lines that shouldn’t be crossed.

Here is my response:

Please don’t despair – we are not! In fact we’re taking great comfort in God’s care for our family. When our situation was in question, we prayed hard that God may save our child. When it became evident that this was not His will, we made the choice to trust in His sovereignty. As Job says, “Will we accept blessings from His hand, but not troubles?”

Or, as David said at the time of the illness and death of his son:

20 Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.” 22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.”

David knew that he would see his son in heaven, as Janis & I will now have the pleasure of meeting our 3 lost children for the first time when we arrive in glory.

Remember, God never promised anyone a life of peace or rest on this earth. While we are in the fallen creation, life will be difficult -all the more so for those who follow Christ against the current of this world. But we also have the “peace that passes understanding” give by the Spirit.

Every moment we live is a blessing, every child – even for the shortest time – reminds us of the God who gives life, and will lead us to life incorruptible.

And from Janis:

I know that things such as these are hard for us to understand, but God is always good. I know it, trust it and cling to it in times like these. My God loves me and will never foresake me.

God was gracious enough to take this little one home to himself. I can’t think of a better place for my child to be, but with the Saviour and creator.

My hope is in Him who created me.

I pray that you would not harden you heart to the clear truth of the gospel.

Much love to all,

Another friend asked permission to forward a copy of this message to friends that were hurting from the loss of a child. At first, I thought: “Surely you can find something better than this …” but then I recalled through discussion with Janis all the blogs we’ve appreciated over the years that have shared their trials, wins and losses with us. (The Woodbulls, Zoo-ology, (the other) More Love To Thee, Vitamin Z for some examples.)

By the grace of God, we’ve been able to give testimony to His goodness to us in front of 4,000 florists and now for the 5 of you who read this blog. God is good – He doesn’t fail. His goodness is measured not in the things we receive in this life, but in the comfort and strength He provides now, and in providing the means to gain eternal perfect life with Him.

*Update: Corrected the name & added a link to the More Love To Thee blog.