We Take Nothing With Us
A friend’s daughter just had a life altering surgery with two more needed in the next year while other girls at the age of fourteen are going to school, visiting with friends, and enjoying their youth. A Pastor who we have recently been acquainted with collapsed and died suddenly not only leaving a church in shock but a wife and two young children. A blogging friend just received news of the tragic death of her twenty year old nephew who loved the Lord. A friend lost her husband of eighteen years suddenly and without warning leaving her to the care of two young children. My favorite aunt heard those terrifying words, “cancer” and left us to meet her Savior much earlier than we had ever hoped. A few nights ago, my husband and I sat and listened to a couple who were living in New York City on 9/11 /2001, and who were both employed as flight attendants on one of the airlines whose plane went into the World Trade Center. His wife was working on board a flight that morning heading to the West Coast and he carefully described the moment by moment agony he experienced as he watched and waited to discover his wife's fate. Joy does not describe his relief when he discovered that her flight was still taxiing at the time of the first impact, but was mixed with great grief. They shared that for weeks following the tragedy they were completely numb only able to do nothing but sit and watch the smoke rise from the tip of Manhattan. Since then, they have chosen to walk by faith and not fear, but the scars remain.
Tragedy, loss, suffering and death have impacted my life as I am sure it has yours as well. Often times it occurs suddenly and without warning or preparation. We all know we are not guaranteed tomorrow. The question then and still today often times is, “why?” Why such evil? Why such loss? Why such suffering? Why do so many innocent people have to die? I am not going to try and answer the “why?” question, but could certainly point you in the direction of scripture and others who have looked at the tragedies in our country in recent years and who offer some biblical answers as to “why?”
If you haven’t figured it out already I am just an ordinary woman, wife, and mother. I am a sinner who has been saved by the blood of Jesus Christ shed on a cross. I live in a fallen world corrupted by sin since the garden. God’s plan of redemption was laid before the foundation of the earth. No where in scripture am I or anyone else promised a life without tragedy, loss, suffering and death. And when I wrap my arms around a sister in Christ who is in the midst of deep sorrow and grief, everything in me wants to provide answers and immediately address the question, “why?” But the only hope that I or anyone else can offer is in Christ. He came, lived among us, and suffered a horrific and tragic death, so that I whether given many years on this earth or not, could have life rather than the death that I most certainly deserve. Nothing in this life or on this earth compares to Christ. We take nothing with us and leave only the impact we have on the lives of others.
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Philippians 3:7-11
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