“The B-I-B-L-E, yes that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E.” Every night, I tuck my children into bed and pray with them. After we pray, without fail, we sing this memorable children’s song. We have followed this same routine for years. The repetition has etched the words into their brains so well, in fact, that sometimes when I pray at other times of the day, the first few notes of the song start coming from our mouths before we realize what we are doing. It is a truth that I want my children to never, ever forget. As long as they are living on God’s earth, I want them to know that the only strong foundation for their lives is the all-sufficient Word of God.
Of course, this song is really just a fun way to remember what Jesus said at the end of his Sermon on the Mount: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock…” (Matt. 7:24-25ff, ESV) This doctrine has proven to be true for me time and time again. Yet, no experience was more faith-testing and house-shaking than when my wife and I suffered the loss of three children through miscarriage.
In our first five years of marriage, we had our two amazing kids, and all seemed right in the world. We were living on the campus of a seminary and following the call God had for us. Then, shortly after our son was born, trouble came to wreak havoc on our little family. Over the next couple years, we suffered the loss of three children through miscarriage, each one further along in the pregnancy when they passed. The first one was heart-breaking. We had never experienced anything like it before and did not really know how to react. We just cried. With the next, we thought our fears were over once the pregnancy extended past the first one, only to be devastated once again a couple weeks later. Our third was crushing. We had made it further than the previous two and with hopeful expectation that we might find out the gender at our check-up, we were met with only silence from the heartbeat monitor. What really made this last one the most difficult was that my wife had to deliver our son a few days later. I will never forget sitting in that hospital room next to my wife, holding our lifeless little boy and weeping like we have never done before or since. Although we had gone through the loss of two previously, holding him made the reality nearly unbearable. Some months following the final miscarriage, further health issues led to a procedure that would end any hope we had of having more biological children.
During each step of this experience, the temptation to despair tried to destroy our joy in Christ. Well-meaning friends and family sought to give us advice and show their love, and gave us a glimpse of comfort in the midst of our sorrows, but ultimately it all failed to relieve our suffering or bring us lasting peace. What did bring us peace was the foundation of God’s Word that we had been trying to build our lives on up to that point. In the Scripture, we found joy and hope in the midst of our suffering and pain. As the Holy Spirit applied the Word to our lives like a cool salve on our wounds, He provided the true answers, direction, and relief that we needed. We saw over those difficult years the power of God’s Word made manifest in our lives. We tested the truths of Scripture and stood alone on them, fixing ourselves on the rock while the wind and rain around us refused to relent.
Two verses in particular were foundational for us. The first was Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” We found comfort in knowing that God was working this for our good. Instead of the desperate “Why God?” creeping in our minds, we could know (even beyond our weak comprehension) that these things would be used for our good and God’s glory. The second verse, by necessity, followed the first. It was James 1:2-4: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Only after we were convinced of God’s goodness through these trials could we learn to consider it all joy, knowing that God was perfecting us.
Since those difficult days, now years ago, God has taken us through many more difficulties. Yet, no matter what we have gone through, it has always been the truth of God’s Word that has kept us going and established us in our faith. God used that experience to direct us in ways we never thought about before. We opened up our home to foster children, we have been able to relate with others who have suffered similar experiences, and we have been able to face things that may have crushed us had God not built up our faith in Him. God’s sovereign plan to take us through those trials was perfect, and we continue to rejoice in Christ our Savior as we look forward, ready to face to each new day with joy. That is why, for now, and until our children leave our home to go out on their own, we will continue to sing that little song everyday to remind us that we really can stand alone on the Word of God.
I know that there are many others that have gone through miscarriage. It can feel devastating, whether it happens early or later in the pregnancy. However, I can say with full assurance from the Scriptures that you can lean wholly and fully on God and His Word for comfort and direction. If you are grieving from a miscarriage, let me encourage you to do 3 things:
1. Stand Alone on the Word of God – When tragedies come, we begin looking for answers. Our searching should begin and end with what God says in His Word. Scripture provides us with truth about who God is, who we are, why bad things happen, and how we are to respond. When the storms of life roll in, stand firm on the sure rock of the Word, and watch out for the sandy foundation of the world’s answers (Matt. 7:24-27).
2. Trust the God of the Word – As I shared above, the two verses that carried us through were Romans 8:28 and James 1:2-4. God promises that he is working for our good and His glory and we know that this trial is meant to perfect us. Despite how we may feel in the midst of our devastation, God is still sovereign. He is still in control. His promises are still true; no matter what we may see or feel.
3. Praise and Thank God Through it All – It might seem strange, but if what we have said so far is true, and we believe that it is, then God is worthy to be praised and thanked for his goodness, kindness, and love towards us in this trial. One of the most precious and comforting moments following our miscarriages, was when I would sing praises to God. With his promises in my mind, I would sing, telling him how good He is with thankfulness in my heart (Col. 3:16) and tears in my eyes. God is good and worthy to be praised, especially in life’s most difficult moments.