Sunday, April 25, 2010

In the blink of an eye

1:40 p.m. Today's project is to ponder the violent, deadly turn life has taken around our neighborhood in the last month. Not only is life fragile and fleeting, but so is our sense of safety, security and self-confidence when another human being meets an unexpected end. Today, like September 11, 2001, is a stunningly beautiful day, but for the 3,000 people in the Twin Towers and the driver traveling up Canyon Crest Drive at 11:00 a.m., about to cross Country Club Drive, eternity has begun, and life here on earth has lost all the potential contributions of the missing--in the blink of an eye.

Whether innocent victims of horrific terrorist atttacks or speeding drivers, any one of us could have been in place of those lost! Dreadful, convicting thoughts are in my mind now, causing tears and shaking in my body--for efforts I can make to be safe behind the wheel, to be responsible in all areas of my life; but can I actually prevent taking my last breath due to a fatal illness or random act of violence? The answer is NO. And neither can you...

Ponder James 4:13-15 with me:

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell and make a profit; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."

What is a person to do, then? The fatalistic view would say, "It doesn't matter what we do, our life choices will make no difference, since people are going about every day in total carelessness and irresponsibility, endangering us all, and they're still here...and anyway, when your number's up, it's up!"
There's some reality in that thinking, and factual observation as well. There are people who smoke for 60 years and die peacefully--granted. And small children tragically drown in bath tubs. Is life just random? I don't believe so, because all the logical thinking in the world counts for nothing if a person counts without God!
What does verse 15 of our passage say? "If the Lord wills..." Yes, there is One who knows exactly what is going to happen, and what didn't have to happen. There is One who responds to prayers made by believers who trust His authority and sovereignty in every area of our lives, in the lives of every person on every square inch of this globe. "Senseless tragedy" makes ultimate and eternal sense to God, who already knows His plans for each of us, and prepares a path of trust for us to walk on, be it ever so reluctantly. I don't want to lose my husband or children--no one does! Yet physical life ends...and will continue to do so until Jesus returns and declares this earthly scene finished forever. II Peter 3:10b says, "both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up." Nothing we know as daily life will exist on that day. Only what is done for Christ and in His Name will last through eternity.
If I did not know the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior, and have the assurance of salvation for myself, Steve, and our children, thoughts of today's crash scene and the motorcylist who died on our corner would have me frightened rather than mournful and contemplative right now. I would be trying to stop my family members from traveling rather than exhorting them to be prudent and making sure they know my prayers will precede them. Steve and I might even determine that we need to move! But for us, it all comes back to, If the Lord wills.
Mercy Me has a song called "In the Blink of an Eye," that describes the born again Christian's sudden existence in heaven for eternity, all the joy, light and delight the Bible describes for us, the reward of the believer. How can you have assurance of eternity with God? There is no task to perform, no qualification except to be alive right now, and to ask Jesus to forgive your sins, believe that He is the Son of God, and ask Him to be your Savior, to live in your heart. Take a moment's action to gain a lifetime of benefits that He has in store for you! Jesus loves you. He does, and He is calling you now.
Make that decision while you can, before your life is snuffed out "in the blink of an eye."

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