A Letter to Matthew

Dear Matthew,

In your short time here on earth you blessed many people. Your loving family and their faith and obedience to God blessed many people as well. I know you are in Heaven, safe in the arms of Jesus. I know you are free of pain, and that you are now able to do all of the things you were never able to do here on earth. The suffering and pain of this life must now seem like a dream, quick and insignificant compared to the glory you are now experiencing.

Many of us down here are left missing you. Many are wondering: How can a loving God allow a tiny baby to suffer so? Why do these things happen? And although we will not understand until we ourselves stand there with you in Heaven, we can know this: That God loves us. He understands what suffering is, because He was once here to experience it himself. And He does not let one tear go unnoticed or one cry go unheard. When we look back on this journey, we will see the thread of our lives woven into His magnificent tapestry and we will understand that all we did here on earth– our suffering, our joys, our hopes, all our prayers…was a part of something much bigger than our earthly minds can comprehend. We will look on the whole of His glory, face to face rather than in this dim mirror, and what we see will be more glorious and bright than words can describe.

I have learned some things about prayer through you and your family on your brief journey here. How do you pray for a situation like yours? Do you dare to pray for healing? If your prayers for healing go unanswered, does it show a lack of faith on your part? A lack of power on God’s? These are hard questions, questions that have the potential to shake a person’s faith. I went to the Book in search of answers, looked to how Jesus prayed to find my answers. I saw that he was unafraid to ask for miracles, and that his perfect faith was able to work wonders. And I saw in the prayer of Jesus at his darkest hour, his greatest time of need, the perfect answer to my question. We pray without ceasing, we petition God for our needs. We ask that this cup pass over us, that we be spared this suffering. And yet, after it all, we must add…but Your will, not mine, be done.

Jesus prayed for the cup of suffering to pass over him, and yet still He suffered and died. Did He lack faith? By no means! Did God fail to hear his cries? By no means. Sometimes His will is incomprehensible to us. Sometimes we must drink from the cup. But we never do so alone, and our hope is in the One we trust to weave our lives in His perfect way. Our hope is in the future, where every tear will be wiped away and every wound will be forever healed.

Matthew, I pray that your family will know joy even in this pain, that they will feel God’s love for them every day. I am thankful for your life, and for their example of faith and their love for you. And I pray that they know in their hearts that they need not hold back to keep you and their memory of you alive, because moving forward is moving toward you as well. You are their future now as well as their past, a future woven by a loving God who will not forsake us.

Yours in Christ,

The H. Family

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