Dealing with the Loss of a Child

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, December 26, 2014 1 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Two weeks ago, my church suffered a sad loss. We had a young girl, only five years old, pass away. Kemarah was our miracle child. She suffered from a bad heart. She spent nearly all of her last year of life at the Children’s Hospital in Houston. During the entire time, my church prayed for a miracle. We believed that God would deliver in ways that were totally unexpected and he did.

Kemarah got a new heart, a reality that cost another child his/her life. There were times where we were concerned she would not make it, but we prayed and we prayed and she got a new heart. Things went well after that for a few months. The family was able to return home for a while. She entered kindergarten when school began, but then things went downhill again. We feared it was heart rejection, but it wasn’t that. We did learn there was a virus in there that was affecting it, the same virus that killed her first heart.

They put her on life-support, dialysis, and a respirator and it came a point where the doctors said they had done everything they could do. We continued to pray and pray and pray. And a miracle took place. When she was not supposed to make it more than a day or two, she started to respond. They took her off her respirator. They took her out of the ICU. She was doing well. Again all odds she was making a dramatic recovery. She was off everything except dialysis. But two weeks ago, without any warning, her heart just stopped and she went to be with the Lord.

It was a huge shock. We were expecting a miracle, we were witnessing a miracle, and still she died in the end. What went wrong? Why did this happen? How many of you reading this have dealt with the loss of a child when it was not expected like this? What did we do wrong? Could we have done anything better? Was there anything the doctors could have done differently? Those are all very real questions any parent who loses their child will ask.

An important verse to remember is in Hebrews 11. This is known as the chapter about the “Heroes of the Faith.” These are the great Old Testament heroes who demonstrated their great by acting upon it. But look at Hebrews 11:39. It says those who believed in great faith and had such a great testimony did not receive what they had been promised. Was it all for naught? Did they not have enough faith?

Do we know why Kemarah died? No, we don’t. We prayed and we prayed and we had good faith that God was going to do something significant through her. Did we ask amiss? Did we pray against God’s will? Did we have false expectations? My pastor was speaking to one of our deacons, who is Kemarah’s grandfather, earlier in the week before she died. And one thing he said (he repeated this during the following Sunday service) was that we can pray for a miracle and we can have faith that God will deliver, but we must leave room for God to be sovereign.

] In all that goes on, we have to understand that God is still in control. Kemarah’s passing did not take God by surprise. He knew this was going to happen. There are times where the enemy comes in a wrecks some havoc but when he does, God allows it. Why? We don’t always know. We see through a glass darkly. We rarely have a clear picture of what is going on. But we know God does. And we have to understand that God is the boss, not us. God is the one in charge, not us. He works in ways we don’t understand. Kemarah’s parents did not sin in a way that led to her death. She did not die because her parents “lacked faith.” I’ve heard of some well-meaning people saying that to parents who lost a child: “If you only had more faith, the child would not have died.” That is the worst thing you could say to a parent who lost a child.

What we know is that God is in control. He knows what he is doing. We know that Kemarah knew Jesus and right now, she is completely restored and enjoying paradise with him. And we know that God is worthy of our worship no matter what the outcome of the situation is.

There may be some of you who have a very difficult time with the holiday season because of tragic memories: the death of a loved one, the estrangement of a loved one, a disaster here or there. And while everyone else is having a jolly time, you can’t because that time has such a grip on you. This family in my church will deal with this every year because two weeks before Christmas their daughter, their miracle child who fought a great battle, died during the season.

I could list all the “pat-on-the-back” answers that I’m sure many of you have heard, but I’m not going to do that. Why does God allow this to happen? That is a question I simply cannot answer. The only thing I know for certain is that God is sovereign. He is in control and he knows exactly what is going on. And God is worthy of our praise when he gives, but also when he takes away. Every single thing we own is actually his. We are just stewards of it for a time. Every child that is born is God’s child. He chose us to raise our children for the time he allotted, even if that time is short. We need to praise him in times of blessings and miracles and in times of tragedies and losses. We need to praise him in the good weather and in the storms. We wrapped up our worship the Sunday we all heard the news with these two songs. I recommend you listen to them.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord
Praise You in the Storm

If you are dealing with a loss, I pray this post encourages you.


Charlie said...

Minor correction. The girl was 6 1/2 years old, not five years old.