She was doing well. She had just gotten remarried to a man who not only loved her, but also loved her children. The heart failure of the past year was behind her and with the help of a specialized machine, her body was getting stronger each day as she awaited a heart transplant. Her future seemed brighter than it had in long time.
And then. . . suddenly. . .
The machine failed.
Her heart stopped pumping and in what seemed like the blink of an eye, she was gone.
In my bewilderment and sorrow over her family’s loss – actually, over the world’s loss of a beautiful, kind-spirited woman who lit up a room with her smile – I was struck afresh by the realization that as much as we want to believe we can control the circumstances of our lives, only God knows the number of days each of us will spend here on earth.
We fret and worry. We diligently put money into savings accounts and strategize about the future.
We give our children vaccinations, teach them about stranger danger and make them wear seat belts when they ride in a car.
We take our vitamins, make healthy food choices (most of the time!), and schedule our annual medical checkups. We think we are in control.
But then . . . suddenly. . .
The machine in which we have placed our trust fails.
We come to an abrupt awareness that we weren’t ever really in control and we spent so much time worrying about our future that we forgot to enjoy our present.
Jesus said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26 NIV)
We cannot control the number of our days here on earth, even with the most technologically advanced machines. But when we place our faith in Jesus, we can rest assured that He controls our eternal future.
Let’s continue to be good stewards of our resources, to make healthy lifestyle choices, and to lovingly care for our children. But let’s also remain keenly aware that the things of this world will fail us. Worry is pointless and life is precious. We are not in control, but when we hold tightly to the One who is, our eternal futures are brighter than we can ever imagine.