Little Graves

A little grave points to the blessedness of heaven.

Of all those gathered beside the grave of a child, the child is the most blessed. He never faced a lifetime of pain and fear. He never faced the valley of the shadow of death or walked in sight of Doubting Castle or wrestled with the giant Despair. Confusion and temptation were never known and the mirage of this world’s natural beauty never led him astray.

He, of all of us, first met the Savior, he rejoiced first, he found rest first, he enjoyed the mansion first and he stood on the golden strand first. When the trumpet sounds and the shout is heard he will rise with the saints and prevent those who are alive. To him is knowledge perfected who never had to look through a glass darkly – he is face to face with the Son of God.

But what! Do you think her lost, when she is but sleeping in the bosom of the Almighty? Think her not absent who is in such a friend’s house. Is she lost to you who is found in Christ. . . . Oh now, is she not with a dear friend, and gone higher, upon a certain hope that you shall, in the resurrection, see her again, when (you may be sure) she shall neither be sick nor consumed in body.

Samuel Rutherford, Letters of Samuel Rutherford (on the death of the daughter of a parishioner.)

A little grave speaks of the brevity of life and asks us of our readiness.

Always, we look to the grave of a child and mourn the life cut short in its strength and innocence. But there is always the grave. It reminds us of the vanity of life and our need to prepare. If the little one could speak he would encourage us to be like the ant who prepares her meat in the summer time. He would exhort us not to be a sluggard in spiritual things. He would remind us that Christ comes at an unknown hour. “Prepare now, while there is still time,” he would say.

What a poor, uncertain dying world is this! What a wilderness in itself! How dark, how desolate, without the light of the Gospel and the knowledge of Jesus! It does not appear so to us in a state of nature, because we are then in a state of enchantment, the magical lantern blinding us with splendid delusion. . . . In the meanwhile, the best method of adorning our profession and of enjoying peace in our souls, is simply to trust him, and absolutely to commit ourselves and our all to his management.

John Newton, Select Letters of John Newton, Letter 39.

A little grave looks forward to the absence of little graves in the new heaven and the new earth.

In Isaiah 65:20 we are given this promise, “Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days.” The little grave points to a coming relief from the sorrow of the loss of a child. One day, there will be no more little graves. In that day the Lord will not allow any loss. We will build and no one will tear down. We will plant and enjoy the fruits of our labor. We will rejoice in the Lord and He will rejoice in his people. The creation will be redeemed and fullness of prayer will be a daily experience.

Let us not despair at the loss of a little child. He is blessed and with the Blessed. Rather, let us prepare to be where he is and to look forward to a day when little graves will be no more.

Published by David B. Smith

Author, podcaster, pastor, and Big Pappa to my grandchildren.

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