Once a child asked his mother, “mom, at what age men die?” She told him to go to the nearest graveyard and see for himself. He did that, and then responded, “Men die at any age”. It was a revelation for the little one that death can come at time. It may be just a story, yet it does teach us a lesson. How often we simply neglect the fact that death can occur at any moment in life. It’s a paradoxical fact that even as we bury the dead, we feel that it will not affect us.
Of course, we don’t need to live under the fear of death, anticipating an imminent departure. As Christians our outlook to death and beyond is totally different from how unbelievers view it. We do not see death as an end, nor do we sorrow as others do. Because of the risen Lord Jesus we have a sure hope and death does not terrify us. Yet, we need not see it as some thing which can take place at any time.
This month I had to face the passing away of two very close dear ones. Both really good believers, died in a very young age in an unexpected manner. One at 38 due to fever and the other of 19 had a cardiac arrest in sleep. Humanly speaking these are very painful events and we find it very hard to explain. Nevertheless as God’s people not only we should find comfort in the word of God, we also need to ask the Lord for wisdom to number our days and live accordingly. Cf. 1Thess 4: 17; Psa 90: 12
When death is sure and the time is uncertain how cautious we ought to be? Cf. Heb 9:28. There are people who try to avoid even the thought of death in the hope that it gives them peace of mind. That’s actually deception, because when death will knock at our door in a sudden moment, we remain unprepared to go. Then we will have no more chance to improve life, fulfil our calling and complete our works. So, it’s essential to think about it seriously and live realizing each hour is God’s precious gift to us. The good health and other resources should not be taken for granted. These are God’s gracious provision that we may enjoy it and fulfil His purposes in our life time. Cf. Act 13: 36.
How foolishness it is to trust in our health and wealth which can be gone in a moment. Accumulation of wealth does not guarantee a bright future for self or the protégés. Paul tells Timothy to remind the rich, not to trust in the riches but to share it according to God’s plan. 1Tim 6: 7, 17 – 19.
Thought of a home - call at any time also reveals the folly of our pride. How can we speak or act arrogantly as if we are somebody special, when the word of God says we are just a like grass that grows up in the morning and withers in the evening. Cf. Psa 90: 5, 6; 103:15 16. Trusting in our own strength we may make tall claims today but tomorrow may not be ours. No wonder James says, “Such boasting is evil.” James 4: 13 – 16. How humbly and fearfully we have to plan our days ahead; in fact live one day at a time.
Let the fear of the Lord control every area of our life and service. 1Peter 1: 17. It is He who allows us to exist each day; it must be for His glory. If there is any self-interest, self-glory, deception, arrogance, even hypocrisy, get rid of it. Stop judging others, but examine our own life and activities. Experience the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ and trust in His strength alone. In all humility and gentleness live a godly life in the time ahead, as the Lord graciously extend our days. Be ready to say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2Timothy 4: 7
Story behind the Nobel Prize
‘Nobel Prize’ is certainly well-known, but only few know the true story behind it. It’s really thought provoking.
Alfred Nobel the inventor of dynamite got up one fine morning in the year 1888 to read his own obituary! It was actually his brother who died, but some journalist by mistake reported that it was Alfred Nobel.
What astonished Alfred more were the comments the reporter made about him. He was distressed to see that people considered him as the ‘dynamite king who made immense fortune from explosives’. He realized how the general public misunderstood his intentions and efforts. They could remember him only as a 'merchant of death'.
As he read these words of ‘tribute’ with horror, resolved to change this public perception of the meaning and purpose of his life. He decided to set up an endowment of five prizes for outstanding contributions in physics, chemistry, and medicine, literature and peace (Economics was added later). Today Nobel Prize is considered as the most valuable prize given for those who excel in the above mentioned fields.
It’s always good to consider how others will view or remember us once we leave this scene!