“Mr. Rosa, take your time, we don’t have to unplug the machine until you’re ready.” I will never forget these words.
The next thing I remember was a warm embrace from a kindhearted fellow, whose name I never asked.
With my face buried on his shoulder, all I could see was the stream of my own tears flooding the floor. Lost in my own grief, I failed to notice that someone else needed a compassionate hug. I reached for my wife and brought her close. For minutes all we did was cry out for strength; the seemingly impossible task was at hand: It was time to release our one and only son to the loving arms of God.
When Goodbye Doesn’t Make Sense
Luana, my little girl, spent her entire life in my arms. For twenty minutes, from birth to death, she heard daddy whisper in her tiny ears, “I’ll see you in Heaven.” A lethal syndrome made life outside the womb impossible for my little girl. Two years later, the unthinkable took place: several problems caused by a few congenital heart defects proved fatal for my boy. His name, Victor, was a sweet reminder of the death-conquering sacrifice at Calvary.
I Don’t Understand!
I should have known better than to argue with the One who gives and takes away. After all, children are a gift of the Lord (Psalms 127:3). Passages like this were such a great comfort when little Victor’s heart failed him.
His condition only worsened during his thirteen months of life, resulting in a fatal stroke. Once again, I found myself in disagreement with the Creator of life. The night before that dreadful day, I gave in to my temptation to demand an explanation. While I questioned the divine plans, inferring that God had made a mistake, a sob emanated from the kids’ room. It was a grieving mother pouring her heart out to the God of all comfort.
My wife’s tone, contrary to mine, was that of surrender to the will of the Father. Her words were inaudible to me, but I didn’t want to interrupt – or join her. I simply waited by the door. The weeping got louder and I finally heard, “God, I am laying my Isaac down, I trust your unfailing love.” How could I do the same? I had already laid my daughter down; I was not prepared to suffer through the loss of my son.
The phone rang, interrupting a solitary night. It was time to say another goodbye; “Victor is already brain-dead,” we were told. Emotional pain became physical pain as the weight of such a tragedy lay heavy on my shoulders. How was I to explain to my firstborn, Julia, that baby brother was not coming home? Once again, I would have to endure the funeral of my own child. Would I ever recover?
Treasure in the Midst of Trials
I don’t know if one ever recovers from the loss of two children, but I finally followed the example of my wife. I found treasure in the midst of my trials.
Before Victor’s conception, I had resolved to pray regularly for compassion. I wanted to have the divine perspective on people who face eternity without Christ. Experiencing such a degree of sorrow, of course, was not in my prayer list. But if the truth of Ephesians 3:20—that God is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think—was to apply to my life, a tested faith was the natural result of my petitions.
The Ultimate Blessing
My belief in the inerrancy of the Scriptures kept me from doubting God’s timely answer. It came after the funeral.
It occurred to me, as I was sorting my son’s pictures for a memorial box, that our separation is only temporary. The truth about instant Heaven for dead infants is the topic for another tract. But how does God feel about the eternal and irreversible gulf that separates Him from those who die in unbelief?
The Lord, in his infinite wisdom and love, put me through the pain of separation so I could better announce the blessing of reconciliation between God and man. I now make a living teaching others to share the Savior. Pay dirt!
The Bible says we are separated from God because of sin (Romans 6:23). The Cross of Christ bridges that gap. Jesus, the God-man, lived on earth, died, was buried, and rose again. Everlasting life and reconciliation are available for whoever believes in Him (John 3:16).
You, too, can find treasure in the midst of your trials. Perhaps God is preparing you for a new area of ministry. Have you also considered that your adversity may be an answer to prayers? If you have never repented and placed your trust in Christ, gold can be found today. Believe that Jesus, the Son of God, died for your sins to give you eternal life. You will live forever in a place where separation, suffering, and sorrow will be no more.
Pierre Rosa was born and raised in Brazil. He lives with his wife Denise and daughter Julia in El Cajon, CA. He is a member of Shadow Mountain Community church where he also serves as Pastor for Evangelism and Discipleship. His passion is reaching and discipling people for Christ.