Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Display of Christian Faith

Occasionally I depart from my ongoing Bible study to discuss things that strike me as important. Today I attended a funeral. It was the funeral of the newborn daughter of a family member. They had been told during the pregnancy that the little girl, whom they appropriately named Grace, would not live long after birth, if she survived the birth at all. God felt, for His own reasons, that it would be best to take her right at birth. As her father so accurately put it, she was born into God's arms.

Like any Christian should be, I am definitely pro-life. A soul exists at the moment of conception, and that is a Scriptural fact. Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee: before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee...." A person exists at the moment of conception and anything that is done to halt that life is murder in the eyes of God. Even hurting a child is a heinous crime with God. Matthew 18:5-6 "And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." Matthew 18:10 "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." Mark 9:36-37 "And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me." Mark 9:42 "And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea." Luke 17:2 " It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." Clearly God feels very strongly about anyone who would hurt a child in any way.

This couple had known that Grace would not survive, yet they chose to give her what little span of life she might have, as they knew with a certainty that every life is given by God and has a purpose, no matter how short it may be. Their unbelievable strength and poise in the midst of such a terrible sorrow was an incredible testimony to the faith that sustains them. Grace gave her family the gift of allowing them to display the action of her name. They were a picture of God's magnificent grace in a time of deepest anguish. The program that accompanied the funeral had some letters they had written to their little girl. The Scriptures they chose to read, the songs that were sung, everything about the service was not about their sorrow, but about the triumph of a life that had existed and a child that was now living in a much happier place with our Savior. To say that her life did not leave a mark on the world would be wrong. The number of people that came was a testimony to the effect this couple's faith has had on others. The message that was given was powerfully pro-life. I cannot imagine that people left the place the same as when they came in. This baby's life has surely affected someone, although we may never know whom or how.

This should be a message to us. If a child who never drew a breath of life, apart from her mother's womb, could leave an impact on the world for God, then how much more should those of us who can count our time on this earth not in minutes or seconds, but decades think about the effect we are having on others? Everything we do, say, believe, feel, think, has an impact. What we have to constantly keep in mind is, are we leaving an impact for or against God? Today I saw a baby who never saw daylight, and a family who will have a permanent hole in their lives, leave an indelible mark for God on a great many people.

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