Read the following passages: Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 7:24-30, Luke 9:37-43, John 4:46-54. Whose children were restored in these stories? How are these children’s backgrounds similar? What differences might you detect? What lessons can we learn from these texts that can help us today?
In all of these stories, one overwhelming similarity is that, in each case, a desperate parent came to Jesus, seeking help for a child. What parent cannot relate? What parent hasn’t felt pain, anguish, fear, and outright horror when a child was very sick, or even dying? For those who have been there, there’s nothing worse.
And though Jesus Himself had not been a parent, He related enough to them in His humanity that He healed their children. In each case the healing came. He turned no one away. Thus, His love not just for the parents but for the children came through clearly.
Of course, this leads to a whole host of questions regarding cases when praying and pleading parents call out to Jesus and, yet, their children are not healed. There is, perhaps, no sadder experience than burying children. Death should be reserved for older generations. The unnatural order of parents mourning their children’s death makes the heart revolt. During these funerals nearly every parent asks,
Shouldn’t it have been me?
Mourning physical death and observing spiritual decay may be equally painful. How many parents have agonized about children overwhelmed by drug addiction, by pornography, or adolescent indifference? Whatever the affliction, we must learn to trust in the Lord and His goodness and love, even when things do not turn out so happily, as they did in the biblical stories listed above. Ellen G. White, a prophet, buried two children. Our world is a rough place; our God, though, is a loving God, and that truth is what we must cling to, no matter what.