Why Does God Let Babies Die? Miscarriage, SIDS, and Infant Illness

Miscarriage may seem an odd thing for a mother to ponder after giving birth to a healthy, pudgy, baby girl. And yet, I am confronted with it. I feared miscarriage throughout my pregnancy, even having nightmares about losing baby Elowyn, and here I am blessed with a tiny, gurgling, kicking, and constantly hungry miracle of life.

Two of my dear friends have had very sick infants lately. One baby needed emergency surgery. Another friend – who is without a doubt the bravest woman I know – is enduring pregnancy knowing that her baby has Trisomy 13, a rare chromosome abnormality that will render her baby not “compatible with life.”  She refuses to terminate, because she has faith that God will work all things out in his own time for the good of their young family.

Why does God allow babies to die? Some would say that death is the result of sin. Yet babies are the purest and most innocent of us all. Surely, the death of a child is not punishment for their own sin, or the sin of their bereaved parents. And yet, death is wrong. It is unnatural and unwanted. There is no disputing this.

Here is what I believe:

God loves certain babies so very dearly, that he takes them up to Heaven to be with him before they ever have a chance to suffer the hardships of this world. God does not view death as an end, but rather as the beginning, because death in this world is merely the doorway into his.

For certain little ones among us, God does not hesitate before gathering them up into his bosom. Their souls are too dear to him to be allowed to endure further suffering. He wraps them in his unending love, heals them of all pain and deformity, wipes every tear from their eyes, and assures them of his love and the love of their parents here on earth.

Someday, we as parents, will join those dear little ones who have gone on before us.

That day will surely be the dawn of an endless time of great joy.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”

Comments 12

  1. Good thoughts to ponder, Jennifer. During my pregnancy with our daughter, we were told there was a good possibility she would have Trisomy 18, not quite as bad as 13, but still “incompatible with life”. Obviously the doctors were wrong on that one. I think we each must take what is given us and do the best we can with it, relying on our good God to carry us when we are not able. And He does just that.

  2. Thank you so much for this! I’m so honored. Beautifully written. I’m overwhelmed by what God is doing with our baby’s tiny life and the many people who are already encouraged and strengthened by our story. I prayed desperately for you when I saw you were in labor, that God would get you and Jason through it and bless you with Elowyn, and then I thanked Him when I saw she was here, safe and sound. Our God is awesome and He will get us through our struggles. I continue to pray for quick healing for your friends’ baby awaiting surgery, so please keep us updated. Thanks! Love you!

    1. Love you too Jessica! I literally cried for you today. Please know that our prayers are just raining down on you and your baby. I pray that God works a miracle and that, as in Donna’s case (above), somehow the doctors will have been mistaken and/or your baby will be healed. God has certainly already worked many miracles through your baby’s sweet life. So many people are hearing his story – your testimony – and praying. You are a wonderful blessing to know.

  3. God took my Matthew at the right time in my second trimester, 20 weeks, halfway through, unbeknownst to me that he was triploid (3 entire sets of chromosomes) until the autopsy. I believe that he took him to spare the pain of his condition, before his nervous system had a chance to form. I am confident that he felt no pain and that his spirit dances around me like a warm blanket. Too many cool things have happened to not believe that.

  4. I do not know what to believe anymore…..What happened to my family and my daughter was wrong and I cannot wrap my head around it any other way. I am tormented every day with the thought of what could have been even as the days grow closer to her 2nd birthday. I will never understand or maybe even accept that someone who loves me can take away a baby who 10 days prior is alive well and trying to be born and is full term. 10 days later her heartbeat is only 23. This is wrong on so many levels…

    1. Dear “M” Since I’m 18 years out from when the miscarriage happened for me, I can tell you that I allow myself to ponder that thought on the presumed anniversary of his death. I allow myself to think about what kind of person he would be, what he would look like, almost like shadows in my home. Would he had found love yet? He would be getting prepared to go off to college, etc. I don’t think you ever stop wondering the “what if”, but eventually has time goes on, you can box it away. I wrote a speech that I delivered to our Celebration of Life ceremony at our 10-year mark. With Jennifer’s permission, and if it might help you, I’ll gladly repost it here.

  5. WOW! Jennifer that was so eloquently said, that I know God is smiling down on you for making it plain. So many times parents blame themselves, and I can attest to my comment being unable to bear children. I totally agree that God chose for those little ones to not have to deal with the cares of this world and to just bypass directly to Joy and life everlasting! Thanks for touching on such a delicate subject. Hugs Habaka

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