All of counselling is little more than guiding our thoughts through three basic questions.
- What is the problem?
- What does God say about the problem?
- What does God say to do about the problem?
What is the problem? In this case, it is the grief and confusion of being told by the doctor that your newly beloved, yet-unborn baby has passed away. Few gynecologists might use those words, and often it is difficult to sift through the abiguity of terms like ‘non-viable pregnancy’ and other medical lingo. Even fewer doctors will fight for a life that in all likelihood might not survive. And so it is all too common to get to a point where it is finally confirmed: the unborn child has died. Then a new set of medical questions, procedures, and future plans are discussed, and with a reeling mind, somewhat distracted by the busyness of it all, you return home, barely believing what all had taken place in a matter of mere days, or even mere hours. The problem is complex, but first and foremost the problem at that moment is a matter of faith. Thoughts of God will be the answer.
So, what does God say about this all? Where to start? Life and death, not to mention resurrection, are in His hands (1 Samuel 2:6; Job 1:21), so we whisper a prayer of praise that God is in charge, not the doctor, lab technician, or some other evil spiritual being. As intensely personal as the trial of a miscarriage is, this one is not unique (1 Corinthians 10:13), so like the many saints before us, we will bear it well. God will never leave or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6), what a personal comfort that is. Church is the source of fellow-bearers of personal trials (Galatians 6:2) and therefore we gain much strength from their prayers, messages, visits, and meals, and anticipate the next Sunday of worshipping God with them. And perhaps the greatest Divine statement in this all, is the glimmer in God’s Word that the little ones who pass away in this manner are gathered together in Heaven awaiting the rest of us (2 Samuel 12:21-23); what eternal joy overwhelms our temporal tears! As an older sibling once exclaimed:
Baby is seeing God’s glory!
Already the path forward has been paved with wonderful deeds of faith. But to repeat it in summary form, what does God say to do about the problem? Have a Heavenly perspective (Colossians 3:2). Be thankful and gracious to the medical professionals. Thank God He is the Lord over all. Involve the saints in helping you bear the burdens. Cry about the loss, rejoice in the temporary-ness of all earthly suffering. Prepare yourself for public worship once again (2 Samuel 12:20). With the same faith as that of the Apostle Paul, we can all say:
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18