We Expected To Have A Couple More Years With Him

Mournful words expressed by a grieving parent are so revealing. The final words of a sweet son who died at the tender age of eleven. "We are heartbroken." Luke has been taken by angels to rest in the bosom of God's eternal rest. Hearts left here are broken and torn by his absence. He was not taken suddenly but suffered in life with the knowledge that he would not live very long. To hear a parent express the hope that they would enjoy the blessing of his presence a couple more years as they too face the reality of his short life is without comprehension.

It is easy to fill life with the assurance of all our tomorrows. The expectation of growing up and living a full life is taken for granted. Plans to finish school, attend college, marry and make a home are interrupted by the knowledge that death can come so quickly. These parents lived daily with the knowledge that the likelihood of Luke living a full life was slim. He did not.

I cannot speak from the heart of parents who live with this knowledge. So many of us have children that do not suffer disease or crippling ailments. We do not understand the daily challenge of life being far from normal. The constant treatments to seek ease of pain and discomfort is not our lot. We do not live each day seeking answers to why my child is suffering as they are. Our lives are not filled with the constant awareness of their hopes, their smiles and their laughter - when days are good. The nights are not spent holding them and wiping the tears from their eyes as they ask, "Why mommy, why daddy, why me?"

We tuck our children into bed in good health and the hope of a bright future. It is so easy to take for granted the life of normality for the blessing of having healthy children who can run and jump and laugh and play and look forward to full lives. Are there lessons to be learned in times of grief for families such as those who now grieve over the death of Luke? He is not alone as many families live each day with children who are suffering. God has not left us alone without answers.

God tells us that life must be understood as fleeting. James 4:14 tells us that life is a "vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." This applies to eleven year old boys too. Hope is found in the knowledge that while we all must die (Hebrews 9:27), we are made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26,27) Because of this, we have the assurance in Jesus Christ that death can be a transition from a life of pain and suffering to a life of joy everlasting. (2 Corinthians 5:1-8) This can only come about to those who are children of God.

Eleven year old boys die and tears are shed without ceasing for the love of his life. The joy of salvation is found in the knowledge that "God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4) This life is filled with tears for the family of Luke. A day will come - as promised by a God who cannot lie - that there will be no more tears and no more pain and no more eleven year old boys taken away from their families. Death will be destroyed. (1 Corinthians 15:26)

Weep with those who weep and pray with those who diligently pray for the good blessings of health to overshadow the lives of their children. Live each day with your children as in the knowledge that life is fleeting and while the old must die, the young can die also. How grand and how wonderful the promise of God is clearer when we see the rainbow of hope beyond this vale of tears and death. May God bless families like Luke. May God bless my family and yours.

By: Kent E. Heaton Sr.

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