John Piper's son, Abraham and his wife, Molly lost their baby, Felicity.
In the hopes that you will pray for us, I’ll give you the news about Abraham’s daughter. Abraham is my son who serves as the Web Content Manager for Desiring God. He and Molly were expecting their second child on Sunday, September 23. Molly was big and healthy. Everyone was happy and excited about Orison’s little sister.
There had been no movement since Thursday. Molly had read this was nothing unusual, but the doctor said she could come for a check-up if she wished. Saturday morning (September 22) they went to Hennepin County Medical Center. No heart beat. Ultrasound confirms: the baby is dead
Please join in prayer for this family.
My friend, Phil asked me to look at the Scripture references that Piper cited and asked (since I also lost a child in this way - but earlier) if he did and said the right thing.
In situations like this, who you are talking to could change how you approach them. I can only assume that since Piper is "dad" to this couple, he knows them well enough to know what it is that they will need at this time. I would comfort a strong believing couple differently than I would new believers and I'd comfort believers differently than unbelievers.
In this case, I believe that believing couples can find comfort in all of these passages,, although there are certainly better passages to use than the 2 Samuel passage - I would most likely NOT have used that (not criticizing - John Piper is a man who is grieving and doing the best that he can).
2 Samuel 12:15-23 - this is the passages that tells us about when David lost his son. He fasted and prayed until the child was dead, and then he got up and ate. The reason that I would not have used this passage is that I believe the message is not that "life will go on", but rather that the child was taken as punishment from God. David had hoped to bring God's mercy by fasting and praying, but when the child died, David took the punishment as righteous.
If a person has done nothing wrong, there is no reason to add guilt; but if they have, this passage gives hope of seeing them again.
John 9:1-3 - This is a good passage - a reminder that we live in a lost and dying world - all of our existence is intended to bring glory to God and that (although sometimes these things can be traced back to our actions) many times there is nothing we could have done (or not done) to change the outcome. The thought that it is "not our fault" can be very comforting.
1 Corinthians 15:58 - Keep on keeping on - our labor is not in vain. I understand this, but...
These are passages that I would use, and have used:
Isaiah 53: 3-4
He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
Christ knows what grief is about - and if we put our burdens onto Him, He will help us to bear them.
The shortest verse in the Bible - and for me, one of the most meaningful. Lazarus was dead and his sisters were grieving. Jesus knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead, and yet He wept.
Why? Because His friends were hurting. In the same way, He sees our grief and pain - and weeps along with us.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Know - KNOW that you have an entire church family who is ready to stand with you, shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart and weep with you.
Know this. My prayers are with you.