I travelled to Huntingburg, Indiana this past week to conduct a funeral service for a 3 day old baby. It is one of those sad situations that prove words are inadequate.
I had never conducted a funeral service for a young person... let alone an infant.
What do you say in a time like that? What can you say in a time like that?
So many questions run through our minds when faced with a situation like this. We wonder how this could happen. We wonder why this would happen.
I think the worst thing I could do as a minister is pretend to have all the answers, to pretend to have it all figured out.
The truth is there are many questions that will not have any answers this side of Heaven.
I think it is only natural for us to question. I also think that there is nothing wrong with asking these questions. We see in the Bible that followers of God had questions and yet God was never threatened by those questions.
People have asked me if it is appropriate for a Christian to mourn.
I think it is very appropriate.
But as Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4 we do not grieve like people without hope. It is our hope and faith in the Lord that comforts us in these times.
As I thought about that little baby... I read the words of Mark 10:14 with a new perspective. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me."
I find those words very comforting.
Even though that little baby only spent 3 days on this earth, I think she taught us a couple important lessons.
She taught us about faith.
She was born prematurely... yet with all of the odds stacked against her, she was a fighter. Ultimately though, she was too weak.
We are fighters in life... and yet we are too weak as well.
Some people consider faith to be a personal strength. But true faith is born from weakness. We recognize we are weak, that we are inadequate, and we must depend on God. Faith is knowing Who to depend on when we are weak.
She taught us about love.
Every now and then an opportunity comes along where we can experience true love. (Love is a word that is so abused in our culture.) But this little baby comes along and reminds us of what love really is.
True love is giving of yourself without expecting anything in return. That is the incredible power of true love.
We are so much better as people when we are loving.
Loving that little child brought a family together... brought friends together... brought a church together...
And so in her few days on earth, she taught us the greatest lessons in life. She served her purpose. And what greater testimony can any of us have than a life that fulfills God’s purpose.