"This week has been overwhelming. Seeing my son in the casket, it is beyond words," he said. "But I thank God. It is not a tragedy. It is a blessing because he is now in a better place, he is in heaven."
16 year old Benjamin Sim's home calling early this week was a shock to many, including our family. We know Pastor Davy Sim because we are from the same IFB circles. We can only imagine the grief the family is going through with the sudden loss of their child. May the Lord Himself comfort them in the way that only He can, at the deepest seat of their hearts.
I have held my children's hands through every step of life from birth: from feeding, to taking the first steps, to learning to talk and read,.... and if suddenly, my child is taken out of my hands and brought to a place that I cannot yet go, how difficult it must be. The greatest comfort is to know it is my precious Jesus who now holds my child's hand in Heaven.
Christian parent, please listen. There are many things we choose for our children's time, learning and enjoyment. Our schedules quickly become filled with many activities that can take away our focus on the most important thing we need to teach our children. Don't be guilty of "arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic". And what is this most important thing?- to love the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 6:4 -7 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. ....
Not to just know about Him (lots of Bible stories), not to just sing about Him (Sunday school worship time), not even to depend on Him for things (prayer). These are all very, very important things that surely a Christian parent will be patted on the back for doing consistently in their child's life! Let me tell you, it is not enough!
May I ask, does your child LOVE God? Is there a real relationship with the Person of God, or is it a set of daily activities surrounding this "God". If God was someone in the flesh right now, would He be the One your child will run to for comfort, sit close to on the couch just to be near, light up with joy when He came home? What makes your set of activities performed in the name of God, any different from the rituals of any other religion? And really, surely God will know if we love Him or not?
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
We love to quote this verse. How many who claim the name of Christ truly LOVE Him? During our time on earth, may we ever grow to love Him more and more!
I wonder if I have done my best to prepare my child for that moment of being ushered (suddenly) into eternity? Would my child wonder in shock and unfamiliarity, "Where is this place?!?!" or exclaim in excitement, "Yaay! I'm finally here!" Certainly, parents take pains to explain to their children about what the first day of school will be like or what going to the dentist will be like. So, how about being in Heaven, in the presence of God? Or is that too distant a thing to be thinking of? (Have you read the link to the article I posted in the opening quote?)
I think I know what our 5 year old will say when she reaches heaven. She'd say, "Jesus, I've been waiting so long to bring me here! Let's play!" She doesn't even know much about the place and blessing of Heaven itself. All she is focussed on is meeting the One who loves her so.
Recently, she was impatient about going to heaven because she really wished to play with Jesus. I really had no heart to tell her that it was wrong or irreverent. It is how she understands love and fellowship of the closest degree. And I know the One who authored love in our hearts for our children must surely enjoy the laughter and fun of playing with a young child too.
There was a time we were talking to God in prayer and when we were done, she had tears rolling down her cheeks. I tenderly asked her what was wrong? And she said "I miss God." She was homesick for heaven.
Can I share what I have done to help her understand how much God loves her? Since babyhood, in our most loving moments, like whenever we are hugging, I would tell her, "Mama loves you so much.... And God loves you more more more." You have to know for yourself that this is true. I do, so I can tell her with all truth in my words.
Daily, we talk about God, read the Bible through which we can learn of Jesus' love for us, and heart-felt prayer to Him. What a joy and privilege to be the one to introduce a child to the One who created her and loves her! But to bring it home at a level that the child understands, is when she knows you love her, and you tell her, you know what, God loves you infinitely more.
1 John 4:16-19 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.
I have another dear friend who walked with her child the journey of cancer. He went home to be with the Lord at the age of 16. She tried her utmost best to prepare her son for the day he would cross death's river, but not knowing how it would be when the moment finally came. God's grace is sufficient! In her words, God personally taught her son how to die. It was not a road that she could take with him, but when she couldn't, God could and did.
There is a real danger that threatens the focus and attention that belongs to Christ and I really have to say my 2 cents worth about this to Christian parents out there: Do not be fooled into believing that worldly activities will bring your child any closer to Christ. I'm talking about exposure to worldly philosophies on mobile devices. We are a family that has mobile devices but they have to always always be kept in check, not only the amount of time spent but also the content of what we are viewing. And it's a battle, for sure! But I am shocked when to hear well-meaning Christian parents praise the virtues of Korean dramas, using them to teach their children "good values" like "faithfulness". It's the ignorance about the Bible's position against "all that is in the world" that honestly, troubles me.
1 Cor 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
1 John 2: 15 - 17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Note that: loving the world will destroy our love for the Father. It's a scenario of mutual exclusivity. A Christianity that blurs the lines between holiness and worldliness is not a Bible Christianity. That is "another Jesus".
2 Cor 11: 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Seek to know the true Jesus of the Bible. Subject even what the church teaches against the Final Authority, which is the Bible. Develop a real relationship with Him.
May it be the war cry of every Christian parent, and certainly, this has to be at the heart of every Christian homeschool: My Child's Salvation first of all. It is a battle that we must fight to win. What will it be in the light of eternity? So many things work against the Christian parent, we have to get on our knees and beg God for help daily!
God give us much much grace on that day when loved ones have to part. What comfort to know, that all who are saved will be reunited one day! We shall not grieve as people who have no hope. Because of what Jesus had already done on the Cross, we will one day all be together and never to part.
1 These 4: 15- 18 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.