Death and Comfort
Today’s reading: 1 Chronicles 7:6-8:40
My selection: I Chronicles 7:21-23
Zabad his son, Shuthelah his son, and Ezer and Elead, whom the men of Gath who were born in the land killed, because they came down to raid their livestock. 22 And Ephraim their father mourned many days, and his brothers came to comfort him. 23 And Ephraim went in to his wife, and she conceived and bore a son. And he called his name Beriah, because disaster had befallen his house.
My reflections: The pain of a parent who buries a child is unspeakable. In the case of Ephraim, his son, Elead, must have been an adult when he was killed by raiding Philistines from Gath. When and where this occurred is not clear to me but the fact remains that a parent is marked forever by the death of a child, as is recorded here about Ephraim.
Two things helped Ephraim get through this time: the comfort of his brothers and the birth of another son, Beriah, whose name sounds like the Hebrew word for disaster.
There is nothing more comforting to the grieving than the presence of loving family and friends. Nothing, unless it is the birth of another child.
My challenge: If you are grieving the death of a close relative, allow others to comfort you. Is there a grieving person who needs your comfort today? Reach out to the one who is in pain. One need not be eloquent or verbose in speaking with the bereaved. The loving presence of another is better than poetic words.
Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Chronicles 9:1-11:9