The house was quiet and dark. The family inside was under quarantine. Diphtheria had found its way inside, claiming the lives of two infant girls; the young sisters had died within twenty-four hours of each other.

Now a group of people gathered outside the house. Among them was Cleland McAfee, uncle of the dead girls, brother to the grieving father. A Presbyterian minister and hymn writer, McAfee brought comfort in the best way he knew how: comfort in song. He had composed a hymn to express the consolation he was looking for during this difficult time. The first verse of his beautiful hymn says:

There is a place of quiet rest,

near to the heart of God;

a place where sin cannot molest,

near to the heart of God.

Words of comfort and quiet assurance. Not everyone finds such peace when faced with loss. But some receive that gift of God, the gift of a peace that passes understanding.

In the Old Testament, we read of King David and his infant son. The mighty king was powerless when his son fell ill; all he could do was pray, begging God to spare his son. Yet the baby died.

When they realized the child was dead, the king's servants were afraid to tell him. Their whispers gave them away, however, and the king realized his son had died. He rose, cleaned himself up, and went to the temple to worship God. When questioned about his behavior, David replied:

"While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me." (2 Samuel 12:22-23)

He reaches out to grieving families saying, "I know your pain. And I can turn that pain into hope."
May such tragedies never come your way. But should they come, please remember these thoughts. A child who dies leaves a world of strife, finding a place of rest. We can't bring them back, but we can live our lives in such a way that we will go to them.

Our God gave up his only Son, sending him to this world to bring us the hope of eternal life. He reaches out to grieving families saying, "I know your pain. And I can turn that pain into hope."

On, there are videos where people share their stories of hope. Take some time and watch the videos, then write to me at to talk about how to find that same hope in your life.

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