Mary was there when Jesus was crucified. She watched her son die. The news of being blessed with a child has now turned into heartbreak.
Luke 1:26-38 (ESV) Birth of Jesus Foretold
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed[a] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary.28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”[b] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”[c]
35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born[d] will be called holy—the Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[e] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
What a blessing. She is to be a mother. She will conceive and carry a life into this world. What joyful news. How full of joy would she have been if she knew that this child she was being blessed with was going to die? Yes this is the reason He was born. Jesus was born to die for all of our sins. His birth had purpose and so did His death but does this knowledge stop the pain? No it does not.
I have a daughter who is alive but I am not allowed in her life and I have discussed the reasons for this in previous posts. Yet the pain of the loss of her presence I believe pales in comparison to those who have children whose lives were cut short. Unfortunately I know too many who have lost their children and my heart breaks for them but I do not know their pain. Mary knows their pain. She brought a child into this world and then watched Him die at the age of 33 years.
John 19:25-29 (NKJV) Behold Your Mother
Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
It Is Finished
28 After this, Jesus, knowing[a] that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth.
Is there anything I can do for these friends who have had to say goodbye to their children that will make anything better? The answer is no. They have lost a treasure no word, gift, or action can replace or make better. All I can do is be here for them. If they want to talk, I need to just listen. If they cannot or do not want to talk then just be there silently and love them. I cannot fix them and they do not expect me to.
Telling them that their children are in a better place does not ease the pain of their loss in this world. And please do not tell them it was God’s plan. I cannot believe that it is God’s plan for a child to die if that is the case then why do people care about abortion? (Okay that is a rant for another day.) Loss cases pain and once a person is gone no mater the age we feel the pain of that loss. I am not writing this as an instruction manual to go remove the pain, but to remind us all that loss is painful and the loss of a child cannot be made better. Holidays are not happy and joy filled occasions for these parents. Let us give them compassion and love.
Thankfully God knows their pain and their grief and He can give them what we cannot.
Father in Heaven, comfort those parents who have children who have left this world. You know their pain and sorrow and I know that You cry with them. Thank you for loving them as a parent for You are the Father. Give them peace that comes only from you, I ask this in Your Son’s Name Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen.