Tomorrow, Thursday, Aug. 22, marks what would have been the 47th birthday of my younger brother, Forest.
Forest Selman Greene was born on Aug. 22, 1972, and was the fourth child born to my parents. For reasons unknown, Forest was born with major medical problems and only lived one day. He died on Aug. 23, 1972.
My youngest childhood memory is of Forest's funeral.
Without Forest, I grew up as the "baby" but always wished I had that younger brother that I could have had. I always longed for "what could have been" and always wondered what life in our home would have been like, with that extra brother.
Even on into my teenage years I never lost that feeling. When I had troubles on my mind (as all young teenagers do), I would drive to the cemetery and sit by Forest's grave and "just talk." I could sit there for hours with him, and just think and talk. It always seemed to ease my mind and help me feel better.
I have always been strong in my faith. I KNEW/KNOW that for everything under the sun, there is a reason. The Lord never gives us more than we can handle. The adversities in our life should just make us stronger Christians. I knew that, and understood that, even during my younger years. However, the question always lingered, "Why did Forest have to die?" It's just a question we, as humans, always wonder.
One day, in my early 20's, I was reading a book (back then I actually had time to read for pleasure.) Within the story, there was a lady who had a child that died. The lady began questioning the Lord on His reasoning behind her child dying. Her attitude changed towards God and she began to get angry and resentful. She began to turn her back on the Lord.
One night she had a dream. She dreamed she was standing with the Lord talking. She asked Him, "Lord, why did you let my baby die?"
The Lord answered her by saying, "Heaven, like earth, needs children too."
That story, and that thought process, meant a lot to me – and it still does. It said a lot to me about my Forest as well. We, his family, did not get to spend time with him and enjoy him, but God did – for God loves children too.
Even after all these years, I still think about that story. When I hear, or read, about a baby, child or young person dying, I think about that story.
Too many times in life we question God with "why?"
We may never know the answer to all of our questions, but we need to remember there IS a reason to everything under the sun. We just have to have faith.