Then the Lord answered Job out of a whirlwind, and said:
 Who is this that wrappeth up sentences in unskillful words?
 Gird up thy loins like a man: I will ask thee, and answer thou me.
 Where wast thou when I laid up the foundations of the earth? tell me if thou hast understanding.
 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
For any parent, I think the death of one of their children is the worst thing imaginable. Abraham Lincoln would see two of his four sons die, Eddie and Willie, Willie dying on February 20, 1862 from typhoid fever, that great killer of the 19th century. Mary Todd Lincoln would see three of her four sons die, and witness her husband assassinated before her eyes. Small wonder that Mrs. Lincoln had a fragile grasp on reality after so much sorrow. Prostrate with grief, Mary Lincoln retired to her room for a month after Willie’s death, inconsolable in the immense anguish she felt, unable to bring herself to even attend Willie’s funeral. Mr. Lincoln said when Willie died, “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth. God has called him home. I know that he is much better off in heaven, but then we loved him so. It is hard, hard to have him die!” Lincoln continued his work, not having the luxury of private grief in a time of such public peril.
Dr. Phineas D. Gurley, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian church in Washington that the Lincolns sometimes attended, preached the funeral sermon. I suspect this passage caught Lincoln’s attention:
His kingdom ruleth over all. All those events which in anywise affect our condition and happiness are in his hands, and at his disposal. Disease and death are his messengers; they go forth at his bidding, and their fearful work is limited or extended, according to the good pleasure of His will.
Not a sparrow falls to the ground without His direction; much less any one of the human family, for we are of more value than many sparrows.
We may be sure, — therefore, bereaved parents, and all the children of sorrow may be sure, — that their affliction has not come forth of the dust, nor has their trouble sprung out of the ground.
It is the well-ordered procedure of their Father and their God. Continue Reading