We had loaded the family into the van and were heading up for a hike at a nearby mountain here in North Carolina. Our youngest daughter had been so excited about hiking and had chattered about it all day long as we prepared for the time when Daddy would get home from work and we would go on our adventure.
The hiking destination is about thirty minutes from our house and the trip there was filled with talking and laughing and a general buzz of noise. We made the turn to head up the mountain to the hiking trail. On either side of the van we were surrounded by mountains. It grew a little darker as the road narrowed. Suddenly our youngest who was four at the time began to cry; and I mean really cry! I was stunned and looked for something that had caused her pain or even a sibling who had caused her pain; but there was nothing. “Anna what is wrong!”
“I don’t want to go into the mountain!” The tears were streaming and her voice was loud and strong. “I don’t want to go into the mountain. I want to go home!”
I tried to explain to her that everything was Ok; but somehow in her mind the mountains that had caused the change in sunlight were a threat to our safety and she wanted nothing to do with our adventure. She was completely and totally afraid. The whole family made it an effort to tell her that she was safe and that there was nothing to fear. But fear remained. Finally after much talking she did stop her out and out bellowing and the cry turned to quiet sobs and we continued up the mountain.
We drove a little further; but the car was quiet now as she looked out the window crying and the rest of the family tried to figure out why she was so afraid. Suddenly she sniffed loudly and wiped her face with her hand. She then said, “I know!” We all waited for her to reveal what had caused her outburst. Then she started quoting her verse, “What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee!” She explained that she was afraid but that God would take care of her. She quoted the verse over and over again until we got to the hiking trial.
Is that not like us? We see darkness and we grow afraid. Life changes in an instant and fear grips our heart. We do not know the way. We did not see this coming; and like the mountains hid the sun on our adventure it is easy to feel the darkness that comes when death claims our little one. Every parent who has had an infant die of SIDS knows the fear that grips the heart the moment that life changes forever. Sudden fear.
The Bible tells us that the moment we are afraid we can trust in God. The Psalmist was actually conditioning and training his mind that whenever he felt afraid that he would consciously trust that God was with Him and would work things out.
Trusting God does not mean that everything is going to turn out the way we want it to. Trusting God does not mean that every prayer that we pray will be answered the way we think it should be. Trusting God does not mean that bad things will not happen and that fear will not come. Trusting God means that I realize and know it to be a fact that God is always with me and will never leave me. Trusting God is knowing that no matter what happens in my life I will not have to face it alone. God will always be there with me and He will bring me through each trial and every heartache that comes into my life.
Has fear gripped your heart dear parent? Do you live in fear since the death of your baby? May I compel you to do as the Psalmist did and choose to trust in God when you are afraid? Trust that He is with you and that He will give you the strength to go through this heartache. Trust that He will never leave you during this time of grief.
God is with you – even through the sorrow of the death of a child. When you feel afraid – chose to trust Him. He will lead you through the darkness. He will comfort your heart. He will restore your soul. He loves you and is there with you now. Trust Him.
“He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Isaiah 40: 29-31