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After a man and a woman say, “I do,” they often spend the next days and weeks dreaming of what life might be like in 50 or more years.

When a husband and wife get pregnant, they not only spend hours tossing names back and forth at each other, testing them to see if they fit the unseen child, but they also wonder what color the baby’s eyes will be, what his/her handwriting will look like as a school-aged child, and what dreams and desires the teen will have and who he/she might marry and what that couple’s children will look like.  The pregnant husband and wife not only dream about their own lives, but also what the lives of their children will be like 20, 30, and 40 years later.

When a couple marries, neither one is thinking that the other might die 20 years later.

When a couple is pregnant, neither one seriously considers that the child might be born with a severe disability.  And neither mother nor father significantly considers the possibility that the unborn child won’t reach adulthood.

But all three scenarios have been part of the life of R. C. Sproul, Jr.

Fifteen years ago, he and his wife Denise had a daughter, Shannon, who was born with a condition called Lissencephaly that left her severely disabled.

Then last year, Denise entered the presence of the Lord just days before Christmas after battling cancer for about a year.

Then this past week, Shannon joined her mother in glory.

Read R. C.’s reflections on Shannon’s illness from earlier this summer.

Listen to or read his father’s memorial at Denise’s funeral, and listen to his reflections on his wife’s death.  (You might also read his posts, “Can You Remember?” “What Now,” and “Valentine the Brave.”)

Then pray for this man of God who is enduring a Job-like set of circumstances with faith in the God of grace.  And pray for his courage at the visitation tonight and the funeral service tomorrow.