A 17-year-old girl passed away. Gone from this life and into the next. No prom or graduation or future marriage or children. For sure, she is not the only person who passed away this week; there are several obituaries in the paper, and we see the news of the deaths of famous people on TV and media. But her passing is public, personal, and “close to home” in this small town. And it was sudden, shocking, unsettling, surreal. It is painful and heart-breaking, and I pray for her family and friends and all involved. We’re left with many questions and an emptiness. I don’t know your thoughts today, but if I could provide some peace and direction…

Every life is precious and every life matters. Every person is made in the image of God, and death is the reality we all face, some sooner and some later. Anyone’s death is a shock to the system, more brutal than the ice-bucket challenge: that could have been me (or you). One day it will be me (or you) who passes and people mourn. Death awaits us all and this is a stark reminder. Be careful to number your days and walk in a manner worthy of the gospel to which you were called (if you know and follow Christ). One day you will have to give an account of your life to God, and you don’t know when that day will be. Where do you stand with Him today? What if today is your last day? Will you hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant” or, “Get away from me, I never knew you?”

“Why this girl, God?” I don’t know the answer to that. I do know everything is in subjection to Him and He left nothing outside His control. I know not one sparrow will fall to the ground apart from your Father, and even the hairs of your head are all numbered. God has a purpose and works all things according to the counsel of his will, and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. There is comfort and assurance knowing God is in control. We make the best of plans, yet we do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. What we should think and say is, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” Do you have the right perspective?

“Why does anyone have to die?” Death is a reality we face in this world because of sin. Jesus warns us, concerning those who died at the hands of Pilate or who were killed in a freak construction accident: “Do you think that they were worse sinners than you because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” And He said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?  For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Sin separates us from God, resulting in death, and the only remedy for this is Jesus, who died and rose and conquered death. Believe on Him today, as the sacrifice for your sins, and you will be saved. You will have everlasting life. You must be born again to enter the kingdom of God.

We mourn the loss of all who die. If you are in need of prayer or want to talk about the passing of a loved one, please contact me.