When the journey into motherhood begins, two separate and unique souls share one body. Then, the miracle we call birth mingles blood, pain, and overwhelming joy. Almost instantly, the agony of childbirth transforms into a memory and the happiness of motherhood wipes the slate clean.
That moment is celebrated by cutting a cord braided with flesh and life-giving oxygen — and yet there is no pain at the cut.
From the moment that cord is clamped, a new growth begins in its place. It is the invisible cord of need that stems from a mother’s heart and her child. It is as strong as the will of survival itself. In the normal course of a lifetime, this separation is transformed into two new and separate lives.
Death, on the other hand, is the severing of the cord between a mother and child that brings suffering no nerve ending can produce.
And yet, if our hearts will allow our minds to acknowledge it, we understand that the one becoming two is the way of all creation, life and even death itself.
Each of us are comprised of body and soul, which are also destined to separate.
At our very core, each of us is the soul who lives in a body. One will turn to dust, while the other sits in the presence of God. It is appointed to us all once to die.
This does not mean God takes children from their parents — because it’s “their time.”
Children who die are not taken from their family at the whim of a selfish God who “called them home.” Our Heavenly Father does not need a child more than the family needs the child here with them. That philosophy is false. It blames a tragedy on God and maligns His character. It is a shallow reply to deep sorrow, and leaves no room for answers other than to accepting death as “His will.”
As if that makes it all right.
I don’t know why children die.
I don’t know why anyone dies before they have a full life.
I do know that children, along with people of all ages, suffer —that tragedy strikes the wicked and the righteous, wealthy and poor, famous and obscure—no one leaves this life unscathed.
Dying is as much a part of life, as is birth.
So too, suffering is as much a part of life as is joy. One cannot be fully known without the other. That is the paradox we live in.
Make no mistake, the child who dies before having a chance to live a full life, is a life stolen—but not by God.
He gave the child to the mother. God is the giver of life.
He alone breathes life into the earthen body we wear in this world, and eternal life in the next.
He did not take anyone’s child from them.
Our heavenly Father did not create that child-sized hole in their lives. He is not the torturer that ripped apart their hearts.
God creates families. He does not shatter them.
He is the God who loves the parents and the baby they lost. He alone can put their hearts back together.
The God of the universe does not inflict this suffering on us. It is a condition of living within this dying organism we call a body.
It’s painful, fragile, and will decay over time. The spirit who lives inside that body is another story. Our spirit is an indescribable masterpiece created in the image of our Creator. It is that eternal self or soul that is created in the image of the Father — created to love and be loved.
That’s why death is so painful.
We love our children the way God loves us. With this love comes the ability to feel the intense sorrow that comes with separation from them.
The child’s spirit did not perish within that body — it was set free to be with the God who loves that child.
It was at that point, the arms of love opened, and the young life was welcomed into the presence of God.
Children are welcomed —not taken.
Rhonda Robinson is Producer of Digital Content for Inspiration.org‘s Family Section.
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