My older brother and I shared a common bit of philosophy. We agreed that any years granted us beyond a certain given age would simply be icing on the cake, and death at any point thereafter should not be viewed as a great tragedy. We felt that our life up to that point would have been full and complete, with any remaining years being a bonus to be enjoyed as God should grant.
My brother was the first of us to put that philosophy to the test. He had lived two full and active years beyond his estimated threshold when — with sudden and shocking swiftness — he contracted COVID-19 and was gone within two weeks. He was able to display literally his willingness to let God choose even the day of his death, knowing that it had been scheduled from eternity past. Despite the hole in our hearts that can never be filled, we can trust God's timing and ways.
Psalm 139:16 – You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (NLT)
With our world in upheaval today, our ability to foresee our future and make long-range plans seems impossible. Yet, God knew all along that we would be living in this state of suspended animation. Our option is to grouse and complain about restrictions imposed upon us, or to trust Him despite our unpleasant circumstances. He knows the future and will care for us, no matter what. We can faithfully and wisely seek God's ways for our own personal choices, trusting Him to determine His plan for us.
Psalm 31:15a – My future is in Your hands. (NLT)
In the midst of the grief and sorrow that many are experiencing today, we can also see good coming from the circumstances we're living under. Churches are finding that they are reaching a far-flung, hidden audience through their livestreamed church services. The gospel is being spread to many who would not walk through the doors of a church. Neighbours and communities are reaching out to others, expressing great kindness. On a personal level, I have found this time of imposed restrictions to be somehow calming as the busyness of life has slowed down.
Even the greatest upheaval with all of the uncertainty that comes to daily life can be endured when we place our lives trustingly in God's hands. The hole in my heart that comes from losing my brother during this pandemic can be mended as I look ahead, knowing that I will see him again in heaven.
Prayer: Loving heavenly Father, You have known from eternity past what our world would be like today. As we confidently place our lives into Your keeping, we trust You to measure the very days of our lives. May we evidence our trust as we wisely navigate our world. Amen.
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