In the last two months since Molly’s birth and death, I’ve been asked more times than I can count how my daughter and her husband are doing. It’s a good and kind question to be asked, but it’s a difficult question to answer because processing the death of a child is difficult. Perhaps you have wondered about them as well.

The answer has multiple facets. Rebecca and Jacob are doing well, but they are still very sad. They are lonely and they cry, but they are not withdrawing from people. They are doing some traveling, building new memories as a couple and with friends. They are reading books on grief and loss, talking to a wise godly counselor by phone every week, and beginning to look ahead to a life without this precious child they had hoped to raise. We are very proud of them, especially Jacob who has chosen not to bury his grief in his work. They are both being attentive to each other’s needs knowing that they will often be very different. They are processing their enormous loss in very healthy ways.

Charles H. Spurgeon was a great and influential English preacher who also wrote prolifically. Several friends have sent us quotes by him that have helped us maintain God’s perspective on Molly’s short life. All of us will face significant loss in this life if we haven’t already. We empty nesters are on a fast track toward the personal experience of the death of friends, our husbands, or our aging parents. Perhaps these quotes will encourage you today or in the future when you begin the journey through the valley of the shadow of death with someone dear to you.

Suppose you are a gardener employed by another. It is not your garden, but you are called upon to tend it. You come one morning into the garden, and you find that the best rose has been taken away. You are angry. You go to your fellow servants and charge them with having taken the rose. They declare that they had nothing to do with it, and one says, “I saw the master walking here this morning; I think he took it.” Is the gardener angry then? No, at once he says, “I am happy that my rose should have been so fair as to attract the attention of the master. It is his own. He has taken it, let him do what seems good.”

It is even so with your friends. They wither not by chance. The grave is not filled by accident. Men die according to God’s will. Your child is gone, but the Master took it. Your husband is gone, your wife is buried—the Master took them. Thank Him that He let you have the pleasure of caring for them and tending them while they were here. And thank Him that as He gave, He Himself has taken away.

Those who know Christ can say, “If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills:  the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall me if God ordains it.”

“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”

Those who navigate little streams and shallow waters know little of the God of tempests—but those who do business in deep and great waters see His wonders!

We do know in a deeper way the truth that God is in control and that He can be trusted with all kinds of losses. He is always working for good. He does everything out of His great love for us. Loss is a part of life and some day in heaven all things will be made new. We live with that hope for the future.