The year flickered out with a whimper, layered by a gray gauze of sorrow overlapping the bright holiday lights and buzzy mood in town. It seems impossible in so many years, but we witnessed a third child laid to rest in his resurrection bed, a third most grievous accident (accidents are the leading cause of death for children). Our entire congregation is still bent with mourning, this loss of a sweet young boy. You can read Isaiah’s story here, should your heart desire to bear up this family with your prayers for comfort and healing. Regarding the other two children lost, Hannah’s mother spoke to us regarding her loss in this podcast, and Lemuel hasn’t been gone even a year yet. It is a heavy burden, these sorrows, and yet each family glorifies God by their faith and trust in their own ways. We all know the world’s pitiful offerings. Sparkly lights. Not much power.
In this midst of such suffering, comes our newest baby. I had hoped for a (rare) quiet and uneventful birth, but was transported at the last for an emergency caesarean. I was also hoping to quietly welcome our newest family member, but instead was thrust into the spotlight by a whopping 13lb 4oz delivery. I was not diagnosed with gestational diabetes nor did I measure “big” in my pregnancy, but there he is, “biceps fat as hakuri turnips” as my farmer friends chided. We are rejoicing in his arrival!
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
I find this difficult to do, this blend of mourning and rejoicing. One inevitably colors the other, and laughter and tears become slush. It is a grand picture of the world at large, this mix of glory and garbage, God’s grace and man’s sin. Tears are a right response to the deep pain of the world, and laughter a joy from the Lord in the good things He purposes and brings about (even, we might say, from tragedy). In this new year, as blessings and trials befall, let us hold fast to keeping our eyes upon His return, nearing as every calendar day turns over. For our sorrows are short considering the joys to come; we know this.
Are you grieving a loss, or know of someone suffering? It is a hard and unapologetic road, but not one without the Lord’s presence and leading. Here is a short video of Isaiah’s service, with his mother singing. Grief and pain are real. So is God’s grace.
Isaiah’s father preached a number of sermons in the aftermath of his son’s death. They have touched a multitude of lives. This man knows grief right up close. These aren’t just words of faith; they are words of Truth, on which his (and our) faith securely rests.
This is also a helpful resource:
In this new year, I pray you would find your primary business to be fellowship with the Lord. Nothing else is as urgent, and dear. Also, I have been pondering many things on cultivating a happy home in an age of distractions, and I hope to share them with you, for the distractions are many and the rewards of chasing them fleeting and few. May we be found faithful, friends.