“They had not yet discovered the impartiality of death.”
--Louis L'Amour (How the West Was Won)
"O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"
--1 Corinthians 15:55 (NKJV)
What can happen in a year, a day, a moment? It only takes a second for an accident to happen. We may be going along on our merry way, when suddenly disaster strikes. Out of the shadows, the enemy lurks and then strikes. Even when we are alert and wary sometimes things happen that we cannot foresee.
It was a nice, cool evening, the type where a person can sit and watch a ballgame, or play in one. I remember it well, I was 14 when a flash occurred. It took less than a second, but lightning had hit. I looked around and everyone, including myself was on the ground, knocked there by the impact of the lightning. Another time, another ballgame, a line drive came my way while playing shortstop. I had caught thousands of them before, but something happened--I didn't catch the ball and it blasted me in the eye. There was a day, I remember not so long ago, where I was sitting on the sofa at my daughter's house when "WHAM!" out of nowhere something slammed into my chest--a heart attack. None of these were planned, none were expected, but they happened all the same.
Let me draw your attention to a story that happened from 2 Kings:
"But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her. And the child grew. Not it happened one day that he went out to his father, to the reapers. And he said to his father, 'My head, my head!' So he said to a servant, 'Carry him to his mother." When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died."
--2 Kings 4:17-20 (NKJV)
A headache, being comforted by his mother, then death. All within a morning. It just happened. No one was the cause, no one was to blame, but suddenly the mocker of life came and the child was dead.
Life is frail, it lasts only so long. Isaiah tells us that, "All flesh is grass...the grass withers..." (40:6-7) Jesus makes a referral to the grass, "Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven..." (6:30, NKJV) Things happen, accidents happen, life happens, and therefore, so does death. Jesus tells us not to be concerned over such things for we have a heavenly Father who is watching over us.
There is the story of the rich man, told by Jesus, who went about pulling down his old barns and replacing them with newer and better barns and he said, "there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, 'Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.'" (Luke 12:18-19, NKJV) Perhaps you recall the answer that was flung at him--"But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?'" (Luke 12:20, NKJV)
James tells us that our life is only a "vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.'" (James 4:14-15, NKJV) Alive in the morning, but death comes. Are you prepared? We are to walk warily through this world. We are to be alert. We ought to recognize the signs, obstacles, and pitfalls that may be before us. Most of all we should have faith and trust in the Lord.
There is a happy ending. The boy, in 2 Kings, was placed on the bed of Elisha. He then was able to raise the boy from the dead. There is a happy ending, for if death does overtake any of us, and we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be raised and found walking with Him in that heavenly city.