Recently some friends of mine had a baby boy named Reed. I have not met him yet, but I look forward to doing so someday. Reed had many health complications in the womb and it got to a point to where an emergency C-section was performed in order to try to save this little boy's life. Once out of the womb, Reed was poked and tested and tubed. In all of this, many people prayed for him - that God would be glorified in healing him. There were definite times where God intervened and brought about unexpected results; however, God brought Reed to Himself yesterday. We may have been praying for physical healing of Reed, but the Lord didn't answer that way. The Bible is clear that one of the reasons this would happen is because God loves Reed more than we can imagine, and He chose what is best.
When I first heard of Reed's name, I was reminded of a favorite verse of mine: "a bruised reed he will not break. . ." (Is. 42:3). Probably in all the poking and tests for Reed, he was bruised. He experienced some pain in the body. In a much more literal sense, he was a bruised Reed. In God's great love, God fulfilled His promise in Reed's life. He did not break him. Meaning, even though Reed died, God did not allow him to experience condemnation. Instead, He rescued him. He brought Reed to an everlasting rest.
God, the Father, knows the pain of searing loss. Jesus, the Son, knows what it is like to experience pain and death. And, because of Jesus' sacrifice, Reed is worshiping in Heaven today. Can you imagine what that must be like to never really know what life on a sin-cursed earth is like? Can you imagine the joy that Reed is experiencing while our Heavenly Father is teaching him more about Himself? Can you imagine what Reed is thinking? Now, Reed is one of the great cloud of witnesses cheering all of us on. And, while he did not live on this earth for very long, he's saying, "It's worth it! Follow Jesus! Seek Him. He didn't break me - this bruised Reed. He rescued me, and He can rescue you."