And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27 NKJV
*”Johnny has been killed in an accident.”
The shocking news rolled through my soul like a tidal wave. Someone had crossed the middle line. A head-on collision occurred. Johnny was driving one vehicle; an older woman the other. Both were killed.
This death hit home. I had taught with Johnny’s mom for four years. I had even taught Johnny in Bible class—as well as instructed his younger sister and brother in grammar.
Now Johnny was a senior—graduation a mere three weeks away. But he would never walk across the stage and receive the diploma he’d worked so hard for. College scholarships would mean nothing.
Sleep refused to come the remainder of the night. I tried to imagine myself in Johnny’s family’s place. How they were feeling. What they were thinking. Could they feel at all—or think at all. I imagined they were numb. The headmaster would meet with high school students the next day. Pastors would be on hand. I sent him a text telling him I’d pray for him.
Johnny’s unexpected death reminded me of the words the writer of Hebrews penned. What he said was true then and now. Though perhaps not a part of God’s original plan, death came because humanity sinned. Now, it’s a part of life. It will knock on everyone’s door. The only ones who will escape are those alive when Jesus returns.
Death’s knock is never easy or pleasant to answer, but answer it we must. I can never know the exact moment it will occur. For some like Johnny, the knock comes much too soon. For others, the knock holds off for what seems a long time.
Students, and adults, will seek an answer. Why him? Why now? But there is no good explanation for what appears senseless. All I can do—all anyone can do—is hold on to the truth. And the truth is that God is in control and God loves us. I don’t know why He allowed Johnny to die so young—many have died younger. But I do know there is no power greater than God’s. Nor is there anyone who can love more than God does.
Johnny’s family will take comfort in knowing he is with the one whom he trusted as his Savior. When death knocks, be sure you know where you’re going when you answer.
Tweetable: Will you be ready when death knocks?
Prayer: Father, thank You that we can know where we’ll spend eternity when death knocks.
*Name changed to protect the privacy of the family.