John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (NIV)
Jesus loved us enough to give our children to us for a while, so shouldn't we love Him enough to give them back to Him? That is much easier to say than actually to do. We have three living sons, ages 37, 36, and 25. When I meet people, they ask why we waited so long to have children between the second and third sons.
We didn't plan it like that; God did. We had a miscarriage and a stillborn son during those eleven years. It was during that very difficult time in our lives that we learned this very hard lesson: we have to trust that God knows what is best in all situations, even in the life and death of our children. After all, they belonged to Him first. God's Word tells us that God loved us so much that He gave His only Son to die for our sins.
I was reminded of that lesson again when our middle son was in Desert Storm, aboard the USS Saratoga, an aircraft carrier. During his duty abroad at Christmas of that year, my husband and I were watching the late news when we heard that there was a ferry accident off the coast of Israel involving the USS Saratoga. Twenty-one sailors were drowned. For twenty-four hours, we didn't know if our son was dead or alive. I think that was the hardest twenty-four hours of my life! Our friends and family called to show their support, but deep within my heart, I knew God was in control. It took twenty-four hours to get all five thousand men on the ship accounted for, and we finally got news that our son was not among those who had died in the accident.
When the ship came home, it was a bittersweet homecoming, because, although my son was coming home, I knew that twenty one families' hearts were broken because their loved ones were not coming home. God has an appointed time for each of us to die, and I wish it weren't so hard for us to accept death. If we could only see what is in store for those of us who are Christians, and that our families who have died in the faith we will see once again, it would make death a little easier to accept.
It is our responsibility as parents to teach our children that there is an eternity and that we all will spend it somewhere — in either heaven or hell. In heaven there will be no more tears or pain; all sorrow will pass away! We will also see our children who are already in heaven, rejoicing with our Lord and Saviour!
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, please send Your Comforter to those who need Him. Help all who read this to choose heaven! In Your name. Amen.