Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a – To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die. (AMP)
Psalm 31:14-15a – But I trusted in, relied on, and was confident in You, O Lord; I said, You are my God. My times are in Your hands. (AMP)
We were on our way to Calgary, my parents and I. My father was driving my car, and I was sitting beside him, enjoying the very pleasant scenes of Alberta, when my mother, seated in the back, suddenly exclaimed in horror, "It's all spilt on the floor." My father stopped on the shoulder of the road, and we quickly discovered the problem: the cap of a very large jar of liquid honey had become loose, and the contents had spilt on the floor of the car. We tried to repair the damage, but we decided to leave the final cleaning until we arrived at our destination.
Shortly afterward, we came upon a lineup of cars — an unusual occurrence on a prairie highway. We joined the slow-moving procession and passed by a number of badly damaged vehicles. Then we came to what must have been the drivers and passengers, a lineup of distorted young bodies, lying on the raised grass shoulder of the road. Their heads were covered with odd pieces of clothing to hide their identity and give a little respect to their unchosen situation. Until that time, I had never witnessed death in any form, and all I could murmur was "Dear Jesus" repeatedly. Although this happened many years ago, it is as clear in my mind as yesterday. My mother said dramatically, "I really believe if we had not stopped to clean up the spilt honey, we could have been in the middle of that accident," and tried to back up her thinking by calculating the timing. Did the jar of honey really have anything to do with our not being part of the accident scene? Perhaps the answer can be found in the words of the Preacher: "A time to be born and a time to die."
In recent years, I have heard of the death of several young ministers of the Gospel, who have been called to their final home at the time of their most fruitful labours in the Lord. One cannot but ask, "Why?" We shall never know the answer to this question this side of eternity — but I firmly believe in two aspects of the answer: first, when the Book is opened, we shall know and fully understand why, and second, we shall affirm yet again that our God never makes a mistake.
Prayer: Gracious heavenly Father, our times are in Your hands. It is our responsibility to take this day and rejoice and live it to the very fullest possible. Whatever our situation, may we be living examples of confidence and trust in all Your choices for our lives. We make this petition in and through the name of Your Son and our Saviour, Christ Jesus. Amen.