Trusting God Through Grief

 Photo by  Ben White  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

 The 3 wise men weren't there when Jesus was born. 

In my mind, there they are gifts in hand with the shepherds, and angels, and Mary and Joseph, and the animals. And of course that's how I picture it because that's literally every nativity scene that's ever been created. But the Bible records that they came 2 years after Jesus was born (Matthew 2:16). And when they visited Joseph and Mary and gave their gifts they went home another way because they were "warned in a dream not to return to Herod."

When Herod (who was the current king over the Jews) heard that there was a future king of the Jews born in Bethlehem he did what any king would do who is rational and completely a-moral. He killed every child 2 years old and under to make sure that no one would ever displace him or his sons from the throne.

I'm thinking about those families without baby boys. Which parents woke to the horror of losing their boy? Which families lost two sons in the same day? Who lived with lifelong guilt over having only baby girls, or a 3 year old boy? Who wondered,-although they knew they shouldn't even care-if their 2 year old daughter would be able to find a husband years from now?

And I'm thinking about God, who knew that sending his Son into the world would be not only costly for the Son and the Father, but costly for those families as well. The blessing that came out of Bethlehem certainly didn't feel like a blessing to those families, certainly not initially. Did the town of Bethlehem make this connection between the coming of Jesus and the genocide of their children (at the hand of Herod) later when Jesus began to minister? Did this make faith difficult for them?

Now two thousand years removed we can say, that is a sure tragedy but look what came out of it. Surely the salvation of people from every nation, the kingship of Jesus, the establishing of the church, was worth the cost. But oh what faith it takes to believe in the love of the Father when you are experiencing the stone of grief hung round your neck.

God often allows more than we think he should. But our faith rests in this promise: God's work ultimately does overcome the heinousness of sin, the sting of death, and the work of Satan in our world. The work of God in our lifetime may cause Satan to crack his whip in defiance. We may feel the sting of Satan, Sin, and Death most acutely in this world. But take heart, He has overcome the world.

"Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning."
Psalm 30:5