Baby Joel, Miscarriage, and the Love of God
Below is what I wrote for the church newsletter some 6 years ago after we lost a child, Joel, to miscarriage. Maybe it can be of some comfort to others who are enduring or have endured such a tragedy. “ 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)
What a blessing the people of God are! We have been surrounded with love and support, lifted up in prayer, and embraced with loving arms during this difficult time. You are likely aware by now that while on vacation, Christine and I lost our unborn baby. While the tragedy of a miscarriage is terribly difficult, we give thanks to God for the loving, supportive, and prayerful people of God during this time. We truly appreciate the cards, phone calls, hugs, tears, meals, and everything else that you have given to us during this time.
We have lost a member of our family. Though unborn, our baby was truly already part of our family. We loved him and cared for him very deeply. Those of you who have gone through a miscarriage can understand the deep sense of loss and grief that we have been going through. When things like this happen, we often ask “why?” Why did this happen? Did I do something wrong? Could I have done something differently?
Often, there are no answers to these questions. God doesn’t explain why some things happen. We know that because of the fall into sin, because we are sinful, bad things happen. But why this tragedy at this time? Why did God allow this? We don’t know.
What we can say is this; “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.” Ultimately our children are not our own, they are God’s. We are entrusted with raising them, caring for them, and bringing them up in the Christian faith, but they are God’s children. The Lord gave to us a child and the Lord took that child, but we praise His name. It is difficult to do when tragedy strikes, but by faith we can say “blessed be the name of the LORD.”
What we can say is this; “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” (Psalm 86:15)
We have a Savior who said, “"Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."
We have a heavenly Father who “so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son” to die for us and be our savior.
We rest in the hands of our loving God.
Christine decided to name our baby Joel. This name is fitting as it means, “The Lord is God.” Truly, the Lord is God and though we cannot understand His ways at times, we confess that “The Lord is God.” He is in control at all times. And this is comforting because we know the kind of God we have; slow to anger, abounding in love, welcoming of children, and loving enough to die for us.
The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away, even through tears and sorrow we say, blessed be the name of the LORD.”