Sadness And Joy

On the morning of the 27th of January, I woke up early, and I was teary-eyed. I had been dreaming about the birth of our first child, stillborn on January 29th, 1957. I think about her quite often, and certainly around that time of the year. I think about how different it would have been if we had raised four children instead of three. I think about our living children having another sister, and their children having another aunt. Things would have been so different. At times, it makes me sad, and obviously, even after all these many years, it is still on my mind. I was filled with a feeling of sorrow and sadness that morning.

On the 28th, I was to lead a church service in a small town where I go at least once a month. Their service is at 11:15 a.m., so we have lots of time to prepare for the trip to that place. Early that morning at about 7:00 a.m., one of our grandsons called up to tell us that his wife had given birth to their first child, a little girl, in the hospital in Owen Sound. As the hospital was practically on the way to my preaching engagement, and as we had lots of time, we decided to stop by and have a look at the little girl. As soon as I saw her, my anxiety about the 29th was pushed into the background of my very being, and my sadness was turned to joy. Mind you, the little girl can never replace the one that we lost — our daughters and granddaughters did not either — but seeing that little child, mere hours after she was born, was good for both of us.

At the time of the birth of our little girl, I did not know what passage to read. I let the Bible fall open where it might, and there was the passage which has become a favourite, and the verse that I quote quite often:

Psalm 46:1 – God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (NKJV)

Later, after we had seen the new little baby, my wife commented on the fact that we had not experienced anything but sadness when our first child was born. She never did see her, and I only saw her in her little casket. We talked about how much we had missed, and we were sad.

But we experienced great joy on that morning in the hospital and later at church. We know that we have been blessed indeed. The following verse came to mind, which we can all apply in such situations:

Psalm 42:11 – Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God. (NKJV)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we pray for all those who sorrow the loss of a child. We know through faith that You are with us and that You do comfort us, even during times when we are distraught about events of the past. We thank You, in Jesus' name. Amen.

1 comment on this post.
  1. PresbyCan Feedback:

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Joel. God bless.


    Thank you for a very comforting devotional this morning Joel.
    Blessings.


    We understand. We had twin girls prematurely as one was dying they did a c-section to save one baby.
    (ON)


    Thank you, Joel, for sharing this touching devotional with us. We also have lost little ones, my wee premature granddaughter lived four hours and took her last breath in her mother’s arms. My heart goes out to you. Prayers for God’s many blessings to be upon you and yours.


    We too have lost a daughter.
    It has been a very hard since we lost her several years ago.
    Your message helps give us hope and peace.
    Blessings and Peace.


    Congratulations on your new little granddaughter, Joel! I believe you will meet your own daughter one day in heaven.
    I’m looking forward to meeting a granddaughter of ours.
    Thanks for your message of hope. There will be joy in the morning!


    Dear Joel,
    As ones who also have lost a child (miscarriage), we thank you for your sharing from your heart and your experience. We are so blessed not to walk alone.
    Blessings,
    (BC)


    Joel,
    I knew as I was reading this devotional when I got to the bottom it would be by you. You share in a very profound way. The Daily Bread Devotional to do was title How Long? You just showed how long it can be but with God’s help we will be okay. Thanks for all your wonderful sharing over the years and that God was able to help you heal a little with the birth of a new child.


    When we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will.
    When we all see Jesus we’ll sing and shout the victory.
    And your precious little girl will be there to meet you too!
    Congratulations on the newest member of your family.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for your devotional today. I woke at 12:30 AM reliving the past regarding my children and the divorce I was going through when they were just small. That was about many years ago and I still think about the things I could’ve done better and everything that happened. Anyway, your devotional and the scripture really touched me and helped in these early morning hours. If only we could change the past. But I thank God for his love and forgiveness.
    God Bless you and keep you.


    Greetings Joel,
    Many thanks for another very meaningful devotional. Truly the loss of a child at any stage of its life, during pregnancy, at birth or later in it’s life is a sad time to bear and the welcoming of new arrivals does restore a joyful feeling in our hearts. Our faith carries us thru those sad times as we know the Lord’s strength is there to help us.
    Blessings to you and may you experience many more joyful times with future arrivals of great grandchildren.
    (B.C.)


    Thank you for today’s devotional, Joel. My condolences to you and your wife in the loss of your first-born who will always be, your first born. Writing of a loss always touches people… writing of the loss of a stillborn child, especially one so long ago when the parents, especially the mothers didn’t get see them, hold them, say goodbye, will surely resonate with many. Thankfully today, though the loss is no less, it is softened somewhat by the care and compassion extended the families in allowing them all the time they need to hold, love and say goodbye to their child; and by allowing them to dress the child and have photos taken with them if they so choose. There is even a movement afoot wherein people donate their wedding gowns to a group of women who then make little dresses or outfits for the still born or newly deceased babies for their burial.


    Thank you, Joel, for this devotion! I googled unseen blessings and there it was!
    To God be the glory! AMEN!
    God bless and keep you,
    (South Carolina)


    To Joel Jongkind
    Thank you for your thoughts as you remember the daughter you lost at birth. I share your sorrow and the questions about what might have been. I too lost my youngest daughter when she was 19. I am thankful for the years we had with her. This month was her birthday.