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But by the end of his treatment in September 2014, we thought he had come through it.

Then we read in Romans 5:8, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Now, when we put those two passages together, the love of God for us is magnified both by the immeasurable cost in God losing his Son in death and by the fact that he embraced this loss for people who didn’t deserve it.

Few things make my blood boil more than hearing leaders of God’s people describe this greatest act of love for us as cosmic child abuse. Paul calls it “this present evil age” (Galatians 1:4).

But the grief has frequently felt unbearable, and now, just over two years later, it still comes crashing in waves that at times feel impossible to withstand.“My question comes from something I read recently in your book ‘Future Grace.’ At the end of chapter two you write, ‘When faith in God’s future grace is strong, the message is sent that this kind of God makes no mistakes, so that everything he has done in the past is part of a good plan and can be remembered with gratitude. That is glory upon glory upon glory, and I say it not oblivious of the horror upon horror upon horror of the process of dying and perhaps a worse experience for a mom watching a child die.

In fact, it’s the horror of it that makes the faith so unspeakably amazing. My second one is for your words, Kathy, “I hold on to the truth that in some way this is part of a plan that makes sense.” Well, that holding on to God’s word is another amazing miracle of God’s grace, which I suppose in a mother’s heart is only a little less marvelous than her son’s own faith.

I am thankful that the Lord had given Josiah a faith that enabled him to face death without fear, and I have confidence that Josiah is now with Jesus. Only if we trust God to turn past calamities into future comfort can we look back with gratitude for all things.’ Gratitude I will try. There are millions of professing Christians who claim to have walked with God for years who don’t come close to that kind of faith.