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Questions About the Suffering of Little Ones

Question #15

I know you don’t know me but I know you’ll pray for my family. My four-year-old niece, (name), will be undergoing brain surgery on January (date). She has a disease called tuberous sclerosis which, in the short-hand version, causes hard tumors to form on the brain and possibly other organs. This has caused her to have continuous brain seizures since she was born. She also has many physical seizures. The nature and frequency of the seizures have changed as she has grown. Medication no longer can control them. She has 10-15 (on bad days even more) very hard seizures each day. This is very frightening and painful for her as well as life threatening. The doctors feel that the only thing left is to try surgery. On January 6 they will perform surgery to insert probes into her brain. She will remain tethered to the probes for 5-10 days until they get sufficient information to determine the site on the brain that is causing the seizures. Depending on what they find, if the location is safe, they will remove the probes and perform the operation to try to alleviate the seizures. If the location is too close to a site that controls a major function (such as vision), they will only remove the probes. In any case, the insertion and removal of the probes are major surgery unto themselves as they must remove the top of the skull. Please pray for her healing, wisdom and guidance for the surgeons and her caretakers. Also, for strength and comfort for my brother and sister-in-law. Thank you for your prayers. Thank God for (name); she is a beautiful and loving little girl.

 

Answer #15

The above is not strictly a question, but it did require an answer, and the answer given to her leads us to consider an important question of the need for affliction and trial, which we will treat in my answer to the sister that sought my prayer in behalf of this little child, and a follow up question.

Many times God’s people must be placed in trial, for God will prepare us through the trials to stand ever in faith, prepares us for the heavenly dwelling place that we shall have for ever with our Lord. We are led to see through these trials that because of God’s eternal covenant of grace with His chosen, and because of His faithfulness to His covenant that all things shall work together for our good. He has sent His Son to come into our flesh to bear our guilt so that now all penalty for sin is taken away, thus we understand that the afflictions of this present time serve our eternal welfare. The text I quoted in part above is from Romans 8:28-30 “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. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate {to be} conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” May God be with (name) and her family during this time of trial, and if it be His will we do pray that He may deliver this little one from some of her suffering. But we do know that if it is not His will that with the trials He will give the way of escape. It will work out as does all things for the true blessings of God’s children. May God grant (name) and her family the grace to wait upon Jehovah, knowing that He careth for you.

 

Question # 16

The former request leads us to many questions concerning trial, which my readers may want to follow up with in questions to this page. However, we will at this time treat one such question that is from time to time confronted in the church of Christ. The question arises because of the young age of the little one that is suffering such severe trial. There are quite a few times when little ones in the church of Christ are afflicted with very serious diseases or disorders, and other occasions when there is a full term still birth, and many godly parents face the sorrow of miscarriages. The question arises why does this have to be? Why must these little ones so suffer? Why do parents have to see this suffering, or even why do they have their hopes raised to expect that they shall be given one of the covenant seed to care for, only to have that life taken away in the womb, or soon after?

 

Answer #16

The answer to these questions must come from the Scripture, there is no human reasoning that can answer such questions. In the first place we must understand that it is necessary for God’s children to be passed through trials to be prepared for the eternal glory that shall be our portion. This is why James can say in James 1:2ff “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing {this}, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Jesus is pleased to work patience in the lives of His children through the way of their trial. This patience is the attribute of the child of God whereby He waits and trusts upon the God of His salvation for all things.

Understand we must learn and confess that salvation is impossible in our own strength, and learn and confess that we cannot rely upon ourselves at all to serve God and glorify Him. Trial reminds us of our own helplessness, and as it were, God by trial forces us to rest only in His grace to save. When we read the Psalms we are struck with this fruit of trial whenever the Psalmists reflect upon the trials that they must face. For example in Psalm 4 we read the words which the Psalmist speaks to his own soul, when facing sever trial at the hand of his enemies and he says, “But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” God loves His children and brings them near unto His throne of grace by removing all possibility of trust in self or man. And He works then, all things together for the good, the salvation of His children. And if you do not understand James says, if you have questions, then in faith let us ask God. God shall give us grace to bear the affliction, and grace to trust in Him. The apostle states it in a blessed way in I Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God {is} faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear {it}.” By the trial God leads us to rest in His Son for comfort and strength, for principally the way of escape is Christ. He entered our flesh, He took upon Himself our guilt, He suffered the penalty of our sin, and He satisfied the judgment of God, bore our curse to its end, so that there remains no more penalty for sin for His elect. Therefore we have the assurance that the trials He sends us now are the means to draws us near unto the God of our salvation, and to prepare us for the eternal life that is reserved for us in glory. And by the grace of God we know that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:31ff). ❖