Death of Babies and Young People . . .
This is a continuation from yesterday’s post. Please read yesterday’s post before you read this.
. . . When we know all of this, does it not make the answer to the question self-evident?
God knows what will happen, but does not interfere with our right to choose, nor with our bodies, so He does not prevent us from dying, does not discriminate between old and young, believers and unbelievers. So yes, sometimes the young and innocent die, and sometimes the old who have lived full lives (in our eyes). Whose time has come, and why, we cannot know because God does not reveal His mysteries to us. To some he does, but to most of us not. So we cannot know WHY someone has died, only that they have.
Even then, the question may still be haunting us.
- Why God, did you do this to my son or daughter, so young and so precious?
- How can we say, ‘God is so compassionate’ when He mercilessly takes the children and young people away from their loved ones?
- May be the whole idea of God does not seem to work at all?
There is a time for these questions also. God understands all these questions and he is close to the broken hearted.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38-39)
May be slowly we may be able to say like Job, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21)
Dying is being born into eternity with God, for a Christian. Like a child who does not know the language of the mother when the child is in the womb of the mother, we may not know God or his language while we are on earth. But we are immersed in his love. Tagore says, “Lord, your love surrounds me; like the air particles, your love is engulfing me.”
It is wonderful to have the ability to choose, not to be a pre-programmed robot, but with that comes the fact that we are born and we will die, when, why and how may not be revealed to us. With our free will, comes the responsibility and obligation to act responsibly – the obligation to take responsibility for our actions and to make moral choices. We cannot avoid making choices because we have free will – the right to self-determination.
What makes a difference is how we make those choices and on what moral basis we do so. That determines the quality of our lives and of us, as moral human beings. We are created in God’s image. Whether we act with love, compassion and with moral integrity is a choice we have to make. It is within us, but we have to choose to be so.
So next time you choose to do anything we can ask some questions:
- Are we doing so out of your own free will?
- Are we doing it out of love for God who created us in love?
- Death and departure from this world surely make us upset, sad and angry, rightly so.
- But the Lord offers them eternal happiness which surpasses all our present sorrows.
- It is our choices that matters whether we can enter into the eternal happiness God is offering us.
God and the Church are worried about eternal death. John says, “We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. All who hate a brother or sister are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them.”
(1 John 3:14-15)
(Written by Jeremy Nel)
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Tomorrow: Why should we confess our sins to a priest? Why not go directly to God and ask forgiveness?