What do I tell my kids when bad things happen?

Question One of the Heidelberg Catechism

Q. What is your only comfort
in life and in death?

A. That I am not my own,
but belong—body and soul,
in life and in death—

to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood,
and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.
He also watches over me in such a way
that not a hair can fall from my head
without the will of my Father in heaven;
in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.

Because I belong to him,
Christ, by his Holy Spirit,
assures me of eternal life
and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready
from now on to live for him.

Starr Meade in her devotional based on the Heidelberg Catechism called, “Comforting Hearts, Teaching Minds,” she rightly points to the place we must go in the midst of tragedy.  How do we deal with the pains and heartbreaks of life? In her devotional she says the following.

Do you ever imagine “what if-?” What if things went horribly wrong? What if you were seriously ill and were not going to get better? What if something happened to your home or to your parents? Because of sin, all kinds of bad things can happen in our world. Is there anythings that is big enough to comfort us if the worst “what if’s” should happen?

The psalmist imagined “what if” in Psalm 46. He imagined: what if the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the sea? The psalmist comforted himself by remembering that, even then, God would still be our refuge, the place where we can go to be safe. God would still be our strength, and our “very present help,’ even in the greatest trouble.

We aren’t ready to face life unafraid and live it fully until we know we have something big enough to comfort us in any “what if.”

So true thank you Starr for putting into words what my heart needed to hear today.

Psalm 46:1-3English Standard Version (ESV)

God Is Our Fortress

46 God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present[b] help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
    though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble at its swelling.     Selah

3 thoughts on “What do I tell my kids when bad things happen?”

  1. I have struggled with his topic for a long while now. Specifically, how do we deal with all the disappointment of this time on earth while being fueled with the joy of having Jesus in the afterlife? It drives me towards apathy for earthly life while I anticipate actual joy in the afterlife… but that can’t be right either.

    1. Eric actually our proper understanding of creation, fall, redemption and things to come, give this life great meaning. In Revelation when Jesus says that He is the Alpha and Omega the beginning and the end, shows us that everything in-between has meaning. We look forward to the greater fulfillment of the things of this earth rather than the destruction of this earth. The things we do in this life have eternal implications because of that our lives here as short as they may be have great meaning.

      1. Yes, thank you, Sam. I suppose I am still searching for that proper understanding in a more emotional way… trying to move it from head to heart!

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