And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment. Hebrews 9:27 NKJV
I stared at the email, not believing what my eyes saw.
Frank was a member of a church I once pastored. I could never have found a finer fellow or a better friend. His wife and I were distantly related. Frank attended church every time the doors opened, helped with every event the church held, went on mission trips the church sponsored, assisted with cooking church meals, and worked on the local disaster relief team. He once said to me, “I’m a servant. Tell me what to do and I’ll do it. But I’m not a leader.”
Now, he was gone. Cut down at a young 75 years of age. I read the email from another friend telling me of Frank’s untimely death. He and his family had eaten Sunday lunch together. Afterward, Frank and his wife had jumped on the golf cart and headed to move cows from one pasture to another. While on the way, Frank slumped over in her lap. Dead.
Although their son performed CPR on him until the ambulance arrived—and although the medical personnel used paddles on him—Frank was gone. His family stood in shock—as did the rest of the community.
I read the post one of his son’s posted on social media: “We all thought we had at least another decade with Daddy.” Everyone else did, too. At least that much. Frank ate right and avoided addictive substances. He was thin and never sick. A prime candidate for long life.
The writer of Hebrews reminds us of what we often don’t enjoy thinking about: death. God appoints the time. It comes early for some and later for others. Sometimes, the most wicked people live a long life while good people are cut down in the prime of life—or even before.
Frank didn’t have to worry about the second part of the verse. God would not judge him. Frank’s judgment had been placed on Christ many years before when he trusted Christ as his Savior and asked Him to forgive his sins. Closing his eyes on earth just gave Frank the opportunity to reopen them in heaven.
Frank did what God wants each of us to do: love God, serve others, and show mercy. When we do those things, we’ll live a fulfilled life—regardless of how many years God gives us. We’ll complete our mission on earth even when others might want us to stay around a little longer.
Atheist Bertrand Russell said, “Brief and powerless is Man's life; on him and all his race the slow, sure doom falls pitiless and dark.” But for believers, death is not pessimistic.
God has an appointed time for each of us. Make sure you live your life as He intends before that time arrives.
Prayer: Father, when our eyes close on earth, we look forward to opening them in heaven with You.
Tweetable: Are you ready for your time?
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