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The word “grief” signifies “pain, of body or mind,” and it often refers to the sorrow one experiences as they watch another person suffer.  Volumes could be written on this subject, for the moment Adam sinned, human misery and suffering began.  How solemn are the words of Paul in Romans 5:12,Wherefore, by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”  Adam’s act of disobedience has brought death to every man.  Every form of sickness and disease are also the results of this same sin, and these, in turn, produce “grief.”  Nearly every page of Scripture reveals the heart-breaking consequences of sin and the grief that they produce.

When I read the inquirer’s question I immediately thought of Isaiah 53:3-4 which reads, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.”  These words speak prophetically of the Lord Jesus Christ.  As He walked in this scene of heartache and sorrow, He Himself was filled with sorrow!  As He beheld the effects of sin all around Him, His perfect human heart was filled with pain and it was moved to sympathize with those who were suffering. In Mark 7:32-34, when confronted by a man with deafness and a speech impediment, He “sighed” with inward grief. In John 11:33-35 we have the touching account of how  He “groaned” and “wept” at the grave of Lazarus as He shared in the sorrows of Mary and Martha.  Everywhere He turned He witnessed the devastating results of sin and in each case His heart entered into the suffering and sorrow of those who were afflicted.  He was indeed “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”

The closer we walk with our blessed Savior the more we too will be made to grieve over sin and its results, and especially when death occurs.  Death is the ultimate consequence of sin and it should move our hearts to grieve. There are those who would seek to hold back their emotions in the face of death, but just as the Lord Jesus was moved to tears at the graveside of Lazarus, we too should allow our hearts to grieve, and to share in the sufferings of others who are grieving. Romans 12:15 tells us we are to “weep with them that weep.”  As believers this should be a “natural reaction,” and if we don’t experience grief something is wrong. We never want to become “desensitized” to sin and its results; rather, we should be, as our Savior ever was, “sensitive” to all the suffering around us.

There is perhaps no greater loss and cause for grief than the loss of a young child.  Scripture abounds with examples of this and one of the most heart-wrenching scenes is found in Matthew 2:16-18 where King Herod killed all the male children in Jerusalem and the surrounding area from two years old and under.  Matthew then tells us the sorrowful reaction in verse 18 which says, “In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and would not be comforted, because they are not.”  We can hardly imagine the grief that filled the mothers in Israel as they wept for their children.  The grief was so great that they “would not be comforted.”

This begs the question “Is there any comfort for those who experience the loss of a child?”  There is indeed!  The scriptures are quite clear here.  You may recall the story of King David losing his young child in 2 Samuel 12:15-19, and yet he reacted with the boldness of faith in verse 23 by saying “But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” In those blessed words “I shall go to him”, we see the assurance that David had that he would be reunited in the glory with his son!  If we turn to Matthew 18:1-14 we meet with the same comforting assurance that if our “little one” dies, they go to heaven.  In verse 10 the Lord assures us “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”  But one may ask, “But weren’t they born in sin and thus lost?”  Yes, they were born in sin but the Lord addresses this in verse 11 which says “For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” He died on the cross to save those precious souls who were born in sin and yet died before they reached the age of accountability. And to give us even more assurance, the Lord Jesus ended with these words in verse 14, Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” So, even though we will surely grieve if we lose our young child, we have the blessed assurance that they are in heaven, and if we are believers we shall be with them in the glory!  (137.1)  (DO)