Regarding the Death of My Eight Year Old Son

    Our previous son of 8 years, 11 months, and 17 days, Bruce, was taken on to Glory by the Sovereign call of our Holy God on June 3, 1978.

    His "accidental" death was caused by a small 22 calibre bullet. Yet God took him quickly and peacefully. When he cried out, "Daddy!"  I scooped him into my arms before he could fall. As I held him close to my heart in stunned disbelief, he said faintly, "it hurts". Then as I carried him slowly and in great agony towards our pick up, he whispered, "I can't breath".  From my helpless arms he closed his little innocent eyes to this world of sin and slipped into Everlasting Arms of pure love and perfect delight.

    We praise God for all those precious moments with one more dear to us than life itself. To me he was Benjamin - "the son of my right hand" -  the joy and rejoicing of my heart. He was a sweet messenger from Heaven who served well our Father's eternal purpose in our family. Then he moved on to the rich fadeless beauties of God's Heaven to take the place of his own special angel who looked on God's face in his behalf (Mat 18:10).

    Our hearts are crushed but not consumed. Our grief is indescribable but not unbearable. Shocked and saddened we purpose to go on with the Lord to greater knowledge and maturity, and, as we trust, to increased love and usefulness.

    When I condemn myself and ask, "What awful thing have you done to merit this severe judgement of God?" my heart answers: "I have done so much wrong- I find in myself so much iniquity- God is very merciful to leave with me a faithful wife and five other wonderful children. Indeed, it is only mercy that He does not cast us all into hell!"

"The judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether" (Psa. 19:9)

    When I begin to suppose that Bruce's death was only a tragic accident, a bad stroke of luck, a wind of ill fortune, and nothing more, my heart cries vehemently against such atheism and affirms once again that God is Sovereign in the affairs of my life and circumstances:

"And we know that all things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8:28)

    When I tend to think that God is cruel and uncaring, I put my mind on things above until I can see once again who He is: Loving Father, Sympathetic Savior, Comforting Companion. Then I cast all my care upon Him. (Heb 4:15, 1 Peter 5:7)

    When I feel sorry for myself that God has taken from our presence our sweet, joyous little boy, I seek to humble myself before Him who smote His only begotten Son with the pangs of hell, that I might worship Him, being mindful that " children are an heritage of the Lord" (Psa. 127:30). God has a perfect, unchallengeable right to do with His own as He chooses. 

"The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the Name of the Lord" (Job 1:21).

    When my mind begins to whirl and murmur with rationalization and endless questions about the effectiveness and fruitfulness  of such a terrible loss, whether it shall be in vain, I affirm once again with Job that "all things work together for good":

"But He liberty the way that I take: When He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.(Job 23:10)

    When I ponder whether God has forgotten to be merciful and gracious. I am reminded that God must chasten us with many love-licks in order to rear a proper family (Heb. 12).

    When I begin to wonder if God has withdrawn from me and I have become a castaway after having preached to others, I remember how He has kept me from the abyss of despair as I trudged through the valley of the shadow of death, how He has caused His precious Spirit of glory to rest upon me and my family through this impossible ordeal, and I worship and praise our Prince Emmanuel who never leaves not forsaken us (Heb. 13:5).

    When I am tormented with intense yearnings to love and caress little Bruce, and to feel his tender, gentle love, I know that I cannot live or be loved in such a manner; nevertheless, I can love our Father and fellowship with Him so much the more. The only way now that I can express love to Bruce or experience love from Bruce is by living and being loved by my Father in Heaven. Yet, surly, Bruce does not seek not require our limited parental love now that he basks in the "how-much-more" love of our great Father. (Luke 11:13).

    When I am tempted to commit the sin of paganism by not glorifying God as God and by not being thankful (Rom 1:21), I praise Him for Who He is, for what He has done, for what He will do. I praise Him for the gift a little boy for almost nine full years. I praise Him that He knows best and does right in taking our Son at the right time  in the right way  for the right purpose.

"Seeing his days are determined, the number of his months are with Thee, Thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass" (Job 14:5).

    The funeral service for Bruce began with the song that has these choice words:  "Praise ye the Lord, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth ; Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth! Has thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been Granted in what He ordaineth?"

    IN His Loving Care,
    Frank Boydstun and Family

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