Over the years I've pondered the meaning of trials and sorrow that my loved ones or I have endured. Some believe there are lessons to learn from hardship. I agree. In many instances we learn compassion, empathy, faith, trust, and humility. Our own choices will often lead to natural consequences that require repentance and remorse. However, there are some heartbreaking challenges that we may not understand during this lifetime.
There have been a number of young parents I know and love, taken from this life through sudden unexpected death. There is no lesson learned by a grieving husband and his children when the heart of their home no longer tucks little ones into bed, or kisses her husband and gives him a safe place to unload the burdens of his day. And what of the fathers, taken in their prime. Their families learn grief, fear, and insecurity at the loss of their protector. But I don't see a silver lining. Yes all these faithful families I know have an unshakable faith in God. They received strength through a Savior who has felt their sorrow and understands the bitterness of their grief. But will they know why this sacrifice was a necessary part of their personal plan on this earth.
There is purpose in suffering. And I have an abiding faith in a loving Heavenly Father that He has a plan for me and my life. These trials are part of that plan. What I'm trying to say is that our trials aren't always for this earthly existence alone. We are eternal beings and our progression and understanding extend beyond this life. God is concerned with our immortal soul and it is that soul he is testing and strengthening through the bitterness of despair.
This does not comfort the children that will surely miss their fathers all their lives. It won't bring a mother to your aid when you desperately need her comfort. But I know that we will live again. I know our family relationships are eternal in nature. We may not understand the loss now, but I have confidence that we will have a perfect understanding when we leave this life to join our loved ones in the presence of God.