For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 2.
Last week at Calvary two of our families suffered the death of a child. It is impossible to appreciate the crushing grief or to feel the full weight of an inconsolable anguish. Unless of course, you’ve been there yourself. And sadly, many in our church have traveled the journey of this lonely road. We weep with you who weep. Yours is a suffering for which no human words fully help. But is there anything we can do?
We can recall that God cares about the brokenhearted. For purposes not known to us, God does not prevent all suffering and loss, but He is always there in the midst of it and on the other side of it. It is one of the most astounding features of Christianity that God cares so much about our pain He entered into it. Jesus took upon Himself humanity and then suffered injustice, violence, and death. Throughout His life He searched for the hurting, the outcasts, and those who had been deeply broken by the world around them. He invited them to put on His yoke – to be united with Him – that He might lift their burdens and give them soul satisfying rest. He invites us now to do the same.
We can pray to our caring God on behalf of those who mourn. This is one of the ways we bear the burdens of the weak. Searing loss tempts us to give up all hope. Prayer replenishes hope. That’s why Jesus taught his disciples to always pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). In the first century church at Colossae, the Apostle Paul commended an ordinary church member named Epaphras because he was “always struggling on their behalf in his prayers, that they would stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.” Prayer is a labor of love to those who suffer.
We can be the church in times of hardship. There is no better resourced community to help hurting people than a band of Bible believing, Spirit anointed, love-fueled, praying Christians. Christians who love one another; serve one another; encourage one another; forgive one another; bear with one another; build up one another. This is our time to be the church: a Christ-centered community of people fully devoted to loving God and loving others.
With you on the journey,