Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Pain of Separation

Regardless of what type of person Micah would have become, I would have loved him unconditionally. Whether he would have become athletic, intellectual, talkative or quiet, married or single, productive or dysfunctional, I would have loved him unconditionally. I would have loved him (and I continue to love him) unconditionally because he is my son.

So it is with God and His unconditional love for each one of us. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." 2 Peter 3:9.

The pain is now nearly unbearable because I can’t physically love my son anymore. I can't demonstrate to my son that, regardless of his actions, his abilities and his personality, he is deeply and unconditionally loved by me. While I trust that I will see him again, even so, I am physicially separated from him for the rest of my earthly life.

I say that my pain is only nearly unbearable because I trust, through faith, that (i) I will see my son again and (ii) God fully knows and understands the depth of my pain. God the Father separated Himself from his only Son, Jesus, so that the full weight of my sin might fall on Him. At His death, Jesus felt the full weight of this pain of separation when he cried out, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtani--which means, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" Matthew 27:46. If Jesus felt this pain of separation, certainly the Father did as well. While Jesus and God the Father were separated for only 3 days, the nature of that separation was infinitely greater than my separation from Micah because of the unfathomable, infinite closeness of their relationship.

Dustin Shramek, a friend from church who also lost his firstborn son at birth, recently pointed me to Zechariah 12:10. That verse says, "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son." God himself, who knows what it is like to be separated from His Son, likened mourning the death of Jesus to mourning the death of one's firstborn son. Because God knows what it is like to be separated from His one and only Son, I trust that God will continue to give us the grace we need to meet the challenge of grieving Micah, our firstborn son.


  1. I love what you are writing here. I had never considered the separation of me from my twins in the way you have written here. Thank you.

  2. Dear Cory and Heather, I am a friend of the Talbots who just lost their son. I saw your comment on Hunter's site, and visited yours. I'm so sorry for your loss but am so blessed by your words of hope, faith, endurance, wisdom, and trust in the midst of what I know is the worst thing that can happen to a parent. I've often thought of what I'd do if one of my kids died (and I've been a strong Christian for 35 years), and came to the conclusion that I could only rely on God's promises of comfort if that should happen. I cry for your and the Talbots loss, though, and will pray for you. Thank you for sharing your journeys through this dark land, and know that by sharing you are affecting many lives. May God continue to uphold you and your wife and your family members! Debbie Brockett, Eagle, CO

  3. Thank you for sharing this moving account with readers. Sometimes there's just no clear answer to the "Why?" question, though the Lord may choose to reveal a little in the days ahead.

    During her terrible ordeal in the Congo Rebellion, Dr. Helen Roseveare says the Lord spoke to her and said, "Are you willing to trust me with this experience, even if I never tell you why?" And she found that she could. In the years since, God has used the lessons learned back then to help countless others.

    The Bible assures us that God "comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (II Cor. 1:4). In time, the Lord may open for you a very special ministry to others whose lives are shattered by a similar heartbreak.

    May the Lord encourage you and grant you His peace in the coming days.