Though almost a week has passed since we lost our 9-week old baby, and life has to resume at its relentless pace, the painful memory in the emergency department is still vividly alive. The sorrow that followed however, has receded and been comforted by the Holy Spirit.
The sheer emptiness of losing a family member (though one we’ve never met) is sharp. By grace of God, many a comforting words and prayers are received, our hearts are definitely well underway towards healing and rejoicing (Ps 30:5).
By no means I am to compare with others who lost a loved one, suffered illness or depravity. I believe the pains are distinctive to each person, and so are God’s ways for bringing consolation and healing. Nevertheless, God’s deep compassion and love for his children are always, beautifully true.
We hope that we may use what we have walked through to help others who had a similar experience, knowing that our sufferings are not in vain (Acts 14:22), and to help them look to Christ, from whom we may receive all the answers.
The Sovereignty of God’s Good Will
We understood that even if we do all the right things, life still doesn’t go according to our plans. That is because hardly anything is in our control, and this world is but a far cry from the perfect and glorious age to come. Still, God is sovereign in every detail of our lives. We came to understand God’s unquestionable sovereignty in a deeper sense – that sovereignty overrides our will, hope and striving.
And for us children of God, it is very good news that God is sovereign over all things. I dwell on Romans 8:1 to reaffirm ourselves that God’s will is good towards his children.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
It means much more now when I pray “Thy will be done”(Mt 6:10), not adding a tiny postscript saying “so long as I like it too”, or “so long as I am comfortable”. But a concrete, all-submitting “not my will, but Thine be done.”(Lk 22:42)
Perplexed, but not Driven to Despair
God’s love are manifested in ways we sometimes do not comprehend. In our limited knowledge and humanity, God seems to do things contrary to our intuition.
Thinking back, God’s provision is throughout. We are grateful this happened while I am full-time studying, it would’ve been much harder to manage if I was working. And also mum and dad are staying with us to look after Esther. Above all else, we rooted much deeper this year in the Word of God, our souls were better prepared.
As perplexing as the thorn to Paul, we hear our saviour say, “My grace is sufficient for you”!(2 Cor 12:9)
Satisfaction in Christ and Christ Alone
While we ought to receive every gift with thanksgiving (1 Tim 4:4), the gifts are NEVER to replace the gift-giver. We sometimes look at our material accumulation and personal success to reaffirm our belief that God is a good God.
My friends, I pray we never fall into the trap of the false prosperity teaching.
Jesus only promised a few things by following him, and worldly riches and honour are not. The world will pass away with all its desires (1 Jn 2:17). If we follow Jesus, we get Jesus. Christ is enough and that Christ alone is all of our hope, joy and peace combined.
Christ taught us that he IS our greatest joy and satisfaction, not our own dreams, wealth or children. We learnt to cling to Christ every day to know him more, love him more, and find joy in him more.
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. “(Mt 16:24)
“For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” (Ps84:10)
Children are Undeserved Blessings from God
When we see children as inconvenience and burdens, we fail to appreciate the blessings that come with them. Throughout history, children had always been seen as desired to a family. It is only recent that people start to postpone establishing family and having children, as some see children as bondage and burden, or they feel inadequate to fill such responsibilities.
I’d want to encourage married Christians to pray for offspring given to them at a suitable time, for they are like the arrows in the hands of a warrior (Ps 127:4). Rather than being worried about parenthood, look to God for help. Children are wonderful, precious, fragile and undeserved blessings from God.
My Wife is Incredibly Strong and Beautiful
Last time I particularly felt the weight of motherhood, was during Tifa’s giving birth to Esther. Something about a woman giving up her life for her baby leave me in awe – for the strength of womanhood that God created. So much bravery and stamina embedded in such gentleness and nurturing, I am dumbfounded.
This time also, Tifa went through all kinds of tests and examination without a flinch, all she wanted was the baby to be okay. Though in the end we couldn’t keep it, I was captivated by her strength and determination.
It wasn’t easy to bring back the emotions that I went through, yet I do hope my long-winded testimony would someday encourage a downhearted soul. So if you find this helpful, feel free to pass it on to someone who’s experienced a similar loss.
My friends, whatever you may be going through, let us lift our drooping hands (Heb 12:12), be rooted to the Word of God and run the race that is set before us, for God has provided what we need to finish our race.