August 14, 2008

Celebration and Remembrance

2 Samuel 12:15-25

“I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
2 Samuel 12:23


Today our two surviving triplets celebrate their “golden birthday,” 14 years old on the 14th. An exciting day! But they, with their brother Dylan, were born extremely prematurely. Though none of them were ready for birth, Dylan was the least ready. His tiny, immature lungs could not stand the relentless pounding of air from a ventilator. He passed away 23 days after birth. For our family, today is a celebration and a remembrance. If Dylan had survived, what would he be like now? What contributions would he make in the life of our family, our church, his school? We'll never know. Few trials in life are more bitter than losing a child. If things were as they are supposed to be, children would outlive their parents. But then, if things were as they are supposed to be, there would be no cancer, no war, no marital breakups, no sin. King David moaned the words of today's Scripture after the first child born to him and Bathsheba died. This death concluded a long line of tragedy for David: adultery, betrayal, murder, and then the death of this child. None of this was the way life is supposed to be. Yet we celebrate today too. God told David and Bathsheba to name their second son Jedidiah, which means, “Loved by the Lord.” Life brings pain, but God brings blessing.

Thank you, Lord, for your wonderful blessings. Help me through my pain. As we cele-brate your goodness today, give us hope for full life as it's supposed to be. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Mark Stephenson

Rev. Mark Stephenson is the Director of Disability Concerns for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously he served in two congregations in Michigan. He and his wife have four children.

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