Monday, September 3, 2018

Too Soon to Die - Martin Wiles

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

“Uncle Fred* just got killed.”

When I scanned my daughter’s text message, numerous thoughts romped through my mind. Had someone shot him? Had he overdosed on drugs? Was it a wreck?

“What happened? I quickly texted back.

“Car wreck.”

I later discovered his vehicle had veered off the road. He overcorrected, and it turned over, ejecting him in the process. He died at the scene. He was my daughter’s uncle and my ex-brother-in-law. One year younger than I was.

Fred had experienced a rough life. For some years, he had battled the demon of drug addiction. So much so that it caused him to steal from his family and others. Stealing from others landed him in jail. He also fought with back problems and diabetes.

In spite of his occasional wayward living, he was a good man who loved his family. It seemed too soon for him to die. But he wasn’t the only one I’ve thought that about. As I said a few words at his memorial service, I was reminded of others I knew who had died at a younger age than he had.

I know Solomon is correct. And death pesters me more as I get older. I suppose because I know mine is closer now than it ever has been. Not that I’m afraid of dying, but I have a lot of living I still want to do. Things I haven’t done yet. Places I haven’t seen. Then I remember I don’t control my death. God does. Remembering a few things about Him helps me prepare.

God loves, and His love is unconditional. He truly desires that I have a relationship with Him. All He requests is my obedience and love. When I mess up—as Fred and I have done many times—He’s always willing to forgive. He places no limit on forgiveness. As in Jesus’ parable of the lost son who returns home after wasting his life and his father’s money, the Father is always waiting on me with open arms.

Best of all, God has a magnificent eternity prepared for His children. While I’m not excited about death, I am excited about where I know I’ll be after I exhale my final breath.

Death may seem too soon in many cases, but it’s never too soon to prepare. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Get ready now.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the wonderful place You have awaiting for Your children. 
*Name changed to protect privacy.

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