School had begun, another normal day at an elementary school in Connecticut. In 2-3 minutes, 20 children, 5-6 years of age and 6 adults were shot to death in a horrific massacre. The normal day had become a nightmare. The nation is in mourning. Shockwaves. Fear. Pain and suffering, once again. Why? Why?
My 24 year old niece had been working out at the gym with her husband of 9 months. She felt a terrific pain in her head, and within minutes, her life had ended. She was healthy, young and sublimely happy, looking forward to buying their first home together and starting a family. I still remember the phone messages of that awful day. Why? Why?
Today should be the third birthday of a little fella. His parents looked forward with great joy to his birth. Clothes were purchased, the crib bought, dreams were dreamed. Instead, his birth became an entire day of painful labor, knowing that when he arrived, great sorrow would greet them instead of great joy. Heartbreak. Why? Why?
There are no answers to these things. The parents and relatives of the ones lost last weekend will continue living. They have other family members needing them. They will eventually find moments of joy that will turn into more and more moments of joy, yet the pain will be with them for the rest of their lives.
Other babies will be born, not to replace the one who was stillborn, but to be loved and cared for by parents who will always remember their firstborn’s birthday. Grandchildren have come – my niece would have been an aunt 3 times over by now, yet the joy of those grandchildren cannot remove the memory of the daughter whose text message was the first thing to light up my brother’s phone each time his plane landed, back from a business trip, telling him how much she loved him and was glad he was home.
In a world full of so much pain, how do we go on? Why should we go on?
One thing we know – God was not in the evil act that brought the death and created the blinding pain. But God is there to help each of us get through the pain! He knows pain first hand. He, more than anyone, knows what it is like to lose a child in a brutal way, or any way. When we don’t have words to say, can barely speak through our grief, He is there, wrapping us in His arms, assuring us of His love and His comfort.
People make choices on how they will go on. Their bravery and courage is an example for each of us, showing us how to persevere when things are as bad as they can get. Instead of turning away from and blaming God, they turned to Him and placed their hands in His, letting Him be the Strength they needed to keep on living, to keep on going forward.
During the recent death of a loved one, the daughter and I took comfort in saying to each other, “But, ….GOD!” We both knew that whatever was coming, whatever was to take place, God would be there, God knew all circumstances, both now and afterwards, and He would be what we’d need to get through.
Death is so very hard. One day, there will be a great reunion with those who love the Lord and have gone on before us. Our time here is limited. Choose to live it to the fullest, living, loving and resting in the incomparable love of Jesus Christ until the day He calls us home. What a day that will be!
4 He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.