When Life Doesn’t Seem Fair

Yesterday I was perusing Facebook when I saw an article about a missing two-year-old.  I studied the picture a moment and realized that I recognized the little boy–he was our mechanic’s youngest son.  Apparently the child went missing on Tuesday night and a massive search was underway.  While my husband and I aren’t close friends with our mechanic, he’s been very good to our vehicles this year and I always enjoyed watching his little boy play while he worked on our cars.

Despite the search efforts of hundreds of people and fervent prayers for the child’s safe return, the boy’s body was found last night.  I was brokenhearted when I found out this morning–the energetic two-year-old I saw running around just last week is now dead.  I cannot even begin to fathom the pain his parents and brother are feeling.

When something this tragic happens to someone so young, it’s difficult not to demand that God explain His actions.  Why did it have to be a toddler who died?  Why did it have to happen to this nice man’s son?  Why couldn’t the boy just come home safely?  I know the theological answers to these questions–that we live in a fallen, sinful world where death is prevalent, that we are all born in sin so even the seemingly innocent suffer and die, and that God’s plans aren’t always our plans.  Still, it’s hard not to feel anger that all of this wasn’t fair.

But when a calamity like this occurs, I always think of Job’s response after he lost all his property and all of his children.  The man lost everything, but as he mourned he stated, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.  The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord,” (Job 1:21).  Job kept his trust in God despite his suffering.  Likewise, we can find comfort in Christ’s resurrection as told in 1 Corinthians 15:51-56,

“Behold!  I tell you a mystery.  We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:  ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’  ‘O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?’  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This little boy was part of a Christian family.  I put my trust in God’s mercy that while we feel the terrible sting of death here on earth, this child is now living victorious with Jesus in Heaven.  I pray that the boy’s family finds comfort in this as they mourn his death.

Kyrie Eleison

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