Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tragedy, Faith, and a Call to Prayer

“People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him …” ~Luke 18:15-16

“And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.” ~Mark 10:16

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made … ” ~Psalm 139:13-14a

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea … ” ~Psalm 46:1-2

Five women.

Sherry, Amy, Jennifer, Angie, Virginia.

Of these, I do not know four of them, and yet, it is as if I do. I have not been the same since hearing their stories yesterday. Sherry has a five day old newborn who, as far as I know, is happy and healthy. Her sister, Amy, has a six-week-old that was born with several medical issues. Just three days after his little cousin was born, something happened (I cannot give details right now) and they are separated from their precious baby in an unimaginable situation. Then, two days after that occurrence, Jennifer (who is Sherry’s best friend) lost her three-month-old baby (They think it may have been SIDS.)

The fourth woman, Angie, unrelated to the first three, is about 28 weeks pregnant. Her unborn baby has medical conditions so severe that she is not expected to survive delivery and if she did, would be unable to survive outside the womb. The fifth woman, Virginia, is my sister-in-law. Her baby, our nephew, was unexpectedly born with an irreversible muscle disease that kept him hospitaized for more than four months, and requires him to be on a ventilator and receive other intensive care even now that he is home.

These are five families that will never be the same.

(Yes, there are precious, loving, daddies in all of these situations, and my heart breaks for them as well. I am just writing from the mommy point of view.)

So, what does one do with a collection of heartbreaks such as this? How do you reconcile the supremacy of a Loving God with tragedy that transcends any scenario you ever could have imagined? Each of these women has a relationship with the Lord of Hosts … from whom all blessings flow. So, what is God thinking? What is He doing?

I don’t know, … but He does.

However, these things I do know:

* God formed and loves each one of these little babies and has a purpose for their lives. (Psalm 139)
* God loves every one of their parents and other loved ones and has plans for them as well. (Jeremiah 29:11)
* God does not waste our experiences. (Romans 5:3-4)
* God promises never to leave us or forsake us. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
* God watched his own Son suffer, and even die, and he can relate to these grieving parents. (Matthew 27)
* God is the source of every blessing in our lives. (James 1:17)
* Nothing can separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:38-39)
* God promises comfort to those who mourn. (Matthew 5:4)
* God promises to bind up the brokenhearted. (Psalm 147:3)
* God’s grace is sufficient in all circumstances. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
* God works all things together for good. (Romans 8:28)
* God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)

Dear precious Lord, there is no end to your power and mercy. You are still on your throne, and no matter what circumstances we face, You are still worthy of our praise. Please take each of these dear families into your arms and flood them with your peace. Surround them with your love and comfort. Meet them at their points of need and bind up their broken hearts. Give them hope and peace that can only be found in you. Give them not only the ability to plod on in their “new kind of normal,” but grant them the grace to fly. I pray this in the precious, powerful name of Jesus.

P.S. Please pray for these five families. And if you have the time, I recommend checking out Angie's blog. God is writing through her with an exquisite eloquence and grace, and doing it all for the glory of His name. You will be encouraged.

P.P.S. In her book, A New Kind of Normal, Carol Kent explores such conflicts. When things happen that cause our lives to be forever changed in ways we never anticipated and never would have desired (a loved one dies, a divorce takes place, a child is born with a disability, dreams are crushed, etc.) she says we have a choice: we can fall back in defeat and hopelessness, or we can learn to live a victorious life by the power of Christ within the “new normal” that we have been given. If you have been given a “new kind of normal,” or know and love someone else who has, I recommend this read.


  1. So beautifully put. On my knees with you, my sister and friend.

  2. I have been using the term "new normal" with the kids. They are not quite there but starting to get the idea. I will need to read this book when I get time.

  3. It is a great thing to trust in our Sovereign Savior and to be satisfied in him even when our circumstances seem less than satisfying.
    But we must also acknowledge the pain. Especially when the pain is so great. To deny it makes us seem false.
    We also have joy though. Joy in the promise of Isaiah 65:17-25. Someday, this horrible pain will not be remembered or come to mind. Infants won't die. And there will be great joy.
    Our hope is not that God will prevent all pain. It is that someday, he will wipe it from our minds and give us the perfect world that he intended from the beginning.


  4. My heart just breaks for these families. I know our God is big and will somehow get each one through this difficult and what seems like an impossible time. I am praying:) Keep us updated. How did you run across their blogs?

  5. Amy is a friend of a friend (Abby, above), and also a friend of a friend of a friend who actually brought the story to my attention to begin with a week ago.

    Thank you all for your prayers on their behalf!


We are missionaries serving God and the task of Bible translation by serving the missionary community in Papua New Guinea through Personnel Administration and MK Education. We thank you for your prayers!

For the Bibleless Peoples of the World ...

(Updated 13 April 2013)