Oh how her heart must have ached. She lost not just one son but two! Can you imagine having that kind of loss? Can you imagine a child dying and another forsaking God? In the Old Testament of the Bible, there were quite a few hurting parents. One of them was Eve.
It didn’t take long from the beginning of time in which a parent was going to experience hurt like no other. The story starts out with Adam and Eve enjoying bliss in the Garden of Eden. Then sin entered when Satan took his opportunity to deceive the two lovebirds. Soon after, Adam and Eve were exited from the garden forever. As time passed, Adam and Eve bore two sons named Cain and Abel. Gone were the days of Eden. Now their focus was family.
Eve must have enjoyed their early years like most of us. From infancy to toddlerhood, to elementary age, they were curious, playful, learning their chores and life skills. They were also given wisdom I’m sure, to be responsible young men too. Each gained their own talents and gifts. However, somewhere along those older years, one of them changed. This is quite common with teens and young adults. Eve may have seen the signs, however, I’m sure she was not prepared for the deadly results.
Before Cain and Abel arrived, sin was already in their world. When the boys were old enough to know right from wrong, it was already indwelled in their spirit. Of course it is our actions proceeding after knowing right from wrong that makes all the difference.
Those cute little huggable boys became men with very different outlooks on life. Although Eve may not have been totally aware of how her boy’s hearts have changed, God was very much intune with what was going on. In fact, God had a relationship with them by communicating with them. Can you imagine a relationship with God in which you could have a daily conversation?
Then one day, everyone’s life was altered by one decision. An act which was unfathomable to any parent. A child that you have raised, loved, showered grace upon, given wisdom, and help mature, makes the most hurtful choice ever. Murder.
Yes, Eve’s son Cain murdered his brother Abel over jealousy, anger, and envy. Your heart wants to break for Eve. The shock. The pain. The loss. The anger. The numbness. The sorrow. So many emotions Eve endured, and yes, the first death they ever experienced on earth. God knew. God was in pain as well. Eve wasn’t alone in her hurt.
I’m sure Eve experienced shame and guilt. Maybe she asked herself if she were to blame. I’m sure she believed she somehow caused her son to do the unthinkable. Some of those thoughts could have been, “I should have loved him more. I should have paid more attention to him. Where did I go wrong in raising him? If only I had listened to God I wouldn’t be in this situation.”
Parents ask those same questions day in and day out. All of them find themselves in a rollercoaster ride of emotions and desperate for answers. They too, ask God, “Did I not pray enough? Did I not read my Bible enough? Did I not show enough love to you God and now I’m in this predicament?”
As you can see, the questions never end. Parents just want to find answers to help soothe their hurting heart. Eve was no different than any other parent who is hurting. Her heart was broken twice. The first of losing a son to murder. The second to losing a son to the world. She is just like the rest of us who have cried and mourned over their child’s loss, rebellion, or wayward life.
I’m sure Eve had a very difficult talk with God about what happened. Every mom does. We ask God a lot of things. As moms, we need healing, a way to find hope, and to be able to move forward with God leading us to a place of comfort and peace.
It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time for restoration. You may ask, “How do I respond to such pain and heartache?” Best answer – Turn your child over to God. You can’t fix your child, only God can. With all of our strength, we must continually lift our children up to the Lord and ask Him to pursue our child to the very end. Just like Eve, she may not have known if Cain’s heart changed at all at the very end, but I’m sure she kept seeking God for his repentance. This should be our attitude as well. God loves a dedicated and prayerful heart to bring those He loves back into His Kingdom.
While you wait for your child’s heart to respond, here are some things parents can pray for:
- May God soften our child’s hardened heart.
- May God protect our child from the evil one who only seeks to rob, kill, and destroy.
- May God help us address those challenging topics that need to be discussed with our children.
- May the Lord give us the strength to keep strong in the midst of chaos and crisis
- May God fill us with faith and trust in times of wavering and desperation.
- May God convict our child and cause repentance in their heart.
- May God heal us from our guilt, shame, worry, anger, and other emotions we are going through.
- May God send Christian mentors, coaches, counselors to our children when they fall into crisis to remind them of God’s love towards them.
- May God impart vision, revelation, a spoken word, and more to awaken their spirit and draw back to Him who loves them so.
- May we be used even in our difficult circumstances, to be a light to another parent who is hurting.