Friday, June 26, 2009

Tomorrow is Not Promised to You

It's been a sobering week.

First 26-year-old Neda Agha Soltan's fatal shooting in Iran last Saturday. The
video of her final moment on earth has etched itself into the memories of millions around the world. (If you haven't yet seen this short clip, please be advised it's a graphic depiction of death.) Neda's tragic murder, now a symbol of the Iranian revolution, is a grim testament to humanity's thirst for freedom. This nineteen-minute interview with the doctor who tried to save her life shows the emotion that surrounded the scene. By speaking out, he now knows he will pay a price.

Then on Tuesday came the death of Ed McMahon at 86. And on Thursday, two more. Farah Fawcett, losing her battle with cancer at 62. And the sudden death of pop icon Michael Jackson at age 50.

Neda's and Michael's deaths are stunning because they were young, and their passing so unexpected. As our pastor often says, "Tomorrow is not promised to you."

As I mourn for these people and their families, I can't help but turn inward and remind myself that tomorrow is not promised to me. The thought leads me to Psalm 90:12. It's a prayer we should all be praying, one by which we should live our lives. A prayer most appropriate after this week's events.

So teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.


Wandering Writer said...

This year I turned 62, the same age my mother was when she died. Her death was sudden too. It has made me more aware that every day forward from here is even more of a precious gift.

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks for the post. I learned this truth ten years ago when my wife of forty years suffered a sudden stroke from which she died.
I awaken every morning and thank God for one more day, pausing to ask how He wants me to use it.

Nicole said...

My mom also died at 62. Still miss her so much. As that year approaches for me in the not too distant future, I can't help but wonder . . . you know? I posted on this, too, BC.

Help us, Jesus, to do as you ask in the time that you've given us.

Sheila Deeth said...

Lovely article. Lovely reminder. Thanks.

Jill Eileen Smith said...

Thanks Brandilyn - a sobering reminder. How important then to be about the work the Master gave us to do until He comes again or calls us home...our days truly aren't our own.

David said...

Death is hitting a little closer to home for me. A member of our church (of about 6 people) died on May 24th. He was 66, blind and a blessing to anyone he met. A 30 year old man began to attend and one of the issues in his life was a growing relationship with a young woman he hoped to marry. That hope was cut short by a drunk drive smashing the car she was in and killing all but one occupant.

We tend to forget that apart from Christ we are already dead, so when physical death catches up to us it hits hard. Yet to those who know Him, physical death is the doorway to a full presence with Christ. "To be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord." In this I take refuge, strength, hope and courage.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Also this week -

A wonderful family from a church I once attended was driving home when they had a blowout on the highway. The car turned over on the shoulder, killing the younger son (15) immediately. The mom died yesterday in the hospital from the severity of her injuries. The father and the older son (18) walked away with few physical injuries, but unimaginable pain to face over the next months and years.

Then, a friend told me of a missionary acquaintance of hers who had been shot to death while resisting an adbuction attempt in Africa. He also had a wife and a young family.

The only consolation in these tragic deaths, which will not be blazoned all over the newspapers, is that the mom, her son, and the missionary have gone to a place where there will be no more sorrow, where we can all hope to see them one day.

Compared to these deaths of ordinary people, the deaths of celebrities I don't know have very little impact on me.

Anonymous said...

Roslyn, I think I know the family you're talking about.

~ Brandilyn Collins said...

Such sad stories. I'm so sorry to hear of these other deaths.

Rosslyn, you're so right. Our consolation is knowing that Christians have gone to be with Jesus.

David said...

Jeffrey Deaver's new novel, The Bodies Left Behind, although not Christian in content by any stretch of the imagination gives us a phrase to understand death, even of Christians. Yes, I have known a number of Christians who have died and gone on to be with the Lord. I don't mourn them. I often mourn me and the other "bodies left behind". Yet we have this assurance that one day we too shall join our Lord, and if so with Him then also those loved ones who have gone on before. Our sadness is temporary, our joy is eternal. Praise God.