Letters are a wonderful way to minister comfort to grieving parents. Our infant son died in 1997, and the letters we received then and in later years have been of great encouragement to us.
Let me share some letters that were great comforts to me. The first letter is one we received from our pastor. The second one was written in 1640 by Samuel Rutherford, a Scottish paster, who buried several of his own children. The third and fourth letters were written in the 1800s to a man named Robert Dabney, who buried two young sons in the span of a few days (Letter 3 was written after the death of the first son; Letter 4 after the death of the second). Though the second, third and fourth letters were written long ago, the strength of faith represented in those letter helped support my own faith during those dark times. I especially loved the thought, "The Lord may gather his roses whenever He pleases."
I just wanted to remind you that all of us are united with you in prayer and spirit as you go through this trial of your faith.
More importantly, Christ is with you, and the Spirit is interceding before the Father. God’s grace is sufficient. We know, in the mystery of His providence, that all is for His glory and the edification of the body of Christ. These truths are “larger” than life – your life and the life of your baby. In the glories of the Kingdom yet to be revealed, we will know why.
Please remember that you are not alone. The Church here, where we worship, and the Church before the living God in the heavenlies is “one” with you.
In your sadness, take comfort in God’s infinite wisdom and sovereignty.
Reverend David Dickson and dear Brother:
Your Lord may gather his roses whenever He pleases. The farmer cannot harvest when he pleases, as the Lord can do. You are taught to know and adore His sovereignty which He exercises over you, and which is made radiant with mercy. The child has only changed a bed in the garden, and is planted up higher, nearer the sun, where he shall thrive better than in this wasteland. Grace be with you. S. R.
Your loss is great; but the grace of your Master is very, very great. Your noble boy is gone. I remember him. But he sleeps. Let the Master have him.
My heart is sad for you, my brother. Your two bright and noble boys, both gone! What a grief! What an overwhelming sorrow! God is in this matter, moving amid the cloud and darkness of a throne which is nevertheless all spotless and full of glory. It is a case in which you must trust God, and trust him utterly. This is easy to say, but in the intensity and great force of the conditions which agitate your heart, it is no doubt difficult for you to see into the full significance, the deep and powerful force of the idea. Yet there is, for all that, a ground for your trusting in him, though he slay you.
No doubt affliction now seems to you a far more intense and real thing than it ever did before; the griefs of human life are far more awful and terrific to you now than they ever before seemed. But the power of grace is the master of them, and as you feel with such intensity the power of the ill, do not allow it to fill up your soul so as to exclude the other truth.
Steady your spirit in the storm for an instant, and fix your attention on the fact that, awful as is the grief which darkens your house, yet there is a power to master it, and that no matter how fearful may be the trouble, it may be cast upon the Lord; no matter how great the tribulation, you may still rejoice in it.
Has your Christian hope been blown out by the tempest? Have you questioned whether God could deal with you like this if you were his child? If you have, it is a natural, but not a sound conclusion. Was not Job beloved of God at the very time when his children perished? Do not give up your trust in him; wait, bow, submit – submit even to bear the rage of your own unbelief, and say to him, “Even amid my agony, yet I will trust in thee, though thou slay me, too.”
I do hope and pray that God may give you grace to exercise a faith which will humble, comfort and cheer your inmost soul. But if you cannot so believe, at least lay your hands on your bleeding and darkened spirit, and drag it along the way of duty. Follow the Master’s will, in comfort if you can, but follow it. He will bring you out into a pleasant place in his own time.
"A man in a kilt is a man and a half!"