He Is Still There


I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me. Psalm 120:1

We’ve talked this week about some of the most difficult aspects of parenting, but there is a special anguish that comes with the death of a beloved child. I (jcd) will never forget the boys and girls I came to know during my years on the Attending Staff at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Most of these kids suffered from terminal illnesses. Some were under ten years of age, yet their faith in Jesus Christ was unshakable. Their parents had successfully passed on the wonderful message of salvation. What a reception these boys and girls must have received when they met Him who said, “Let the little children come to me” (Mark 10:14).

To the mom or dad who has recently lost a child, let me offer this word of encouragement: your Father has not lost track of your circumstances, even though they seem to be swirling out of control. He is there. Hold on to your faith in the midst of these unanswered questions. Lay claim to the words of the psalmist: “My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word” (Psalm 119:28). Someday God’s purposes will be known, and you will have an eternity to talk it over. In the meantime, I pray with all my being that the Lord will help you through the heartbreaking loss of—or should I say temporary separation from—your precious son or daughter.

Before you say good night…

Do you struggle with trusting God during times of heartache?

How can you help each other renew a “childlike faith”?

Father, sometimes it is so hard to understand Your ways. We cry out to You at such times! Give us comfort, give us peace, give us understanding as we live to remain faithful to You even in the midst of our sorrows. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

A Pitcher’s Dream


“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25

In 1985, Tim Burke achieved a lifelong dream—in fact, almost every boy’s dream—when he signed to pitch for the Montreal Expos. He quickly proved his worth by setting a record for the most relief appearances by a rookie. In the years that followed, Tim and his wife, Christine, adopted four children born with serious illnesses or defects. Neither Tim nor Christine was prepared for the tremendous demands such a family would bring. And with a grueling schedule, Tim was seldom around to help.

In 1993, only three months after signing a new, $600,000 contract, Tim decided to retire. When asked about his amazing decision, he said, “Baseball is going to do just fine without me. But I’m the only father my children have.”

You might ask yourselves as a couple, “Does our current lifestyle, and our dreams and goals, fit with God’s desire that we have a generous spirit?” Tim Burke’s generous spirit caused him to give up his career dream, as well as the wealth it brought. Yet in the end, his act will be worth the sacrifice—his marriage and the well‐being of four lives God placed in his care will reap eternal dividends. That’s God’s idea of a brilliant career move!

Just between us…

  • Have you ever had to give up any of your dreams for someone?
  • How do you feel now about those old dreams?
  • What new dreams do you have for yourself and for us as a couple?
  • How can we help each other achieve them?

Dear Lord, we surrender together whatever selfish dreams or ambitions are keep- ing us from the larger life You have in mind for us. Show us Your better idea. We want to do Your will with joy and expectation, because we trust You. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.