|Vol. 14 No. 11 November 2012||
Adam B. Cozort
I have six children – three that I am blessed to be able to hold today, two that were lost in the womb, and one I look forward to holding in November. I have experienced some of the joys and sorrows of being a parent, and I am sure I will experience many more as the years pass.
This morning, it was through watery eyes that I read of a family who lost their infant child last night because of health complications with his heart. The sorrow and pain they are enduring cannot be described nor explained with mere words, but at the same time, there is also hope in the opportunity in eternity to see that child again.
As I was contemplating these things this morning, another thought entered the mix. We are made in the image of God. Mankind was created with a soul, with cognitive abilities and emotional spectrums similar to our Creator. He has given us reason and logic, love, anger, compassion, desire and many other processes that are similar in nature to His own. That being the case, I believe we often overlook the means by which we can see how God feels when He loses a child.
When we lose a child, someone we created, someone we loved and cherished, for whom we sought to provide and care, who we would give anything to protect, even if it meant our own lives, what does it do to us? It causes grief and agony, sorrow and tears. The same holds true for God. We often consider God to be all love or all anger, all fire and brimstone or all cuddles and warm fuzzy feelings.
The truth is that God is full of love for mankind. He is our Creator, He has sought to protect us, care for us, lead and direct us, save us from our own foolishness and provide for our eternal wellbeing – even to the point of sacrificing His own Son’s life for our sins. However, it has often been the case that God has lost His children, not because of failure on His part, but because of failure on ours. When that happens, we see the anguish of God as He struggles to bring His people back, to convince them of the error of their ways and to show them the truth. Often, they will not listen. Jesus said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that kills the prophets, and stones them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not!” (Matthew 23:37).
When we lose a child, we have hope to see that child again, but imagine the pain it causes God when He loses a child and will never be able to be reunited with that soul. That is why God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). He does not want anyone to be lost, but many will choose to be lost, and His righteousness and justice will not allow Him to bend the rules for those who have refused Him (Romans 2:11; 11:22).
Alternately, we can also understand the anger of God with those unrighteous individuals who try to pull others away from Him to destruction. Jesus stated, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6 ESV). Imagine for a moment that you see an individual who is trying to lure one of your children away from your side so that he can kill that child, forever removing him from your love and influence; what would you do? How would you react to such wicked and cruel intentions? This is exactly what the individual who seeks to cause another to sin is doing, and it brings God’s anger fully to bear on the individual responsible. There will be no mercy for such an individual without his full repentance.
When we lose a child, the sorrow and pain can seem overwhelming, but it can be overcome by the love of God and the understanding of His Word. Nevertheless, these tragedies also give us a glimpse into the feelings and emotions of God toward His creation, His children and how our lives and actions affect Him. Let us encourage others, both outside of Christ and separated from Christ, to understand God’s love and care for them, and let us never forget what happens to God when He loses a child.
Singing has always been a part of our family. When I was about 6 or 7 years old, my folks tried to interest me in music by making me take piano lessons. The only song I remember was Porcupines Have Prickly Quills to the tune of Haydn’s Surprise Symphony. Also about that time, a brother in the church encouraged me to get up and “lead a song” at a Sunday afternoon singing. As I went back to my seat, I said something to the effect, “I’ll never do that again.” A little later, when my brother and I were still in elementary school, our parents sent us down the street to a lady that taught music lessons. That was not the favorite way to spend a Saturday morning for two little boys! As we grew up, church music became a big part of our lives. We would, of course, sing in church services. However, it was not uncommon for the young people to go to somebody’s house for a “singing night.” In addition, we were blessed to attend a Christian school. I sang in the chorus and learned to love music even more. I love to sing with singers who have learned to read music, have good voices and who also love to sing.
Over the years, I have often noticed that some in the church do not seem to enjoy singing. They will often not participate in the worship in song. Can God be pleased if we do not participate in that avenue of worship? Remember, God must enjoy singing or He would not have called upon His followers to sing together in worship. When we sing in worship, not only are we teaching and admonishing one another, but we are singing praises to the Most High God. How could anyone pass up that great opportunity?
We are also singing about God and the Lord Jesus. We want others to know of God the Father and His beloved Son, the Savior. It is the one point in worship when we all have an equal opportunity to teach the many important lessons found in the wonderful psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Why would any believer not want to obey God and engage in worship in song?
It is not essential that we sing the right notes every time. I am thankful for that since I miss a note now and then. Some may not even know one note from another. You may not sing soprano, alto, tenor or bass. You may sing “also” instead of solo. We all ought to do our best whether singing, leading prayer or whatever we do in our worship to God. Yet, with singing, keep in mind God is pleased even if we are making a joyful noise unto the Lord when our worship is in the right spirit and according to the truth of God’s Word. Keep in mind God made everyone’s voice. It may not sound good to me, but it may sound wonderful to the Lord! So, never deprive the Father in heaven of hearing His children praise Him.