Life is fragile.
Anyone, at any time and anywhere, could succumb to one of a variety of fatal occurrences. Terrorist attack, accident, illness, natural disaster, crime…the list goes on.
The fragility of my life was made clear after a recent close call in the little city of Madison, where I live. I was driving into town in my Toyota Corolla when I suddenly remembered I had forgotten at the house something that I needed. (That’s almost a regular thing with me.) So I pulled off onto the shoulder of the road, waiting to make a U-turn.
Using my side-view mirror, I watched the cars pass from behind. When I was satisfied it was clear, I whirled my car around and was shocked to find one more car I hadn’t seen. It swerved at the last second, just barely avoiding hitting me broadside. Had I begun my turn a moment sooner, there’s no doubt the car would have collided with mine, and most likely, I would have been killed.
It was a giant wake-up call, and I had to pull over again. This reminder of how fragile life is had me deeply shaken and trembling, I thanked God for sparing me.
Now, as a born-again believer in Christ, I don’t fear death itself. But to be honest, the process of dying is a little unnerving. Most of us will not know how or when we will die. Those who are terminally ill may be told how but won’t know exactly when. I anguish over those who are lined up to be executed by ISIS or other evil factions, for it must take a huge amount of courage to face dying that way.
But the fact is, we’re all going to die someday, somehow. “Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences” (Hebrews 9:27 MSG). But we are also eternal beings. Our bodies will return to dust, but our spirits will live on. Ecclesiastes 12:6–7 MSG explains: “Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over. Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends. The body is put back in the same ground it came from. The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.”
We don’t know when death will come, but chances are, we won’t be expecting it. The comforting news is that when that moment comes, we need not be afraid, because although our life was fragile God will be there to see us through it.
David reassures us of this fact: “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4 NKJV).
We don’t even need to fear criminals or terrorists—the Word tells us, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather, fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28 NKJV).
If you know the Lord and have surrendered your life to Him, dying is just the beginning of a new eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16 NKJV).
However, if you don’t know the Lord and have not surrendered your life to Him, then dying is to be feared. It is the beginning of a tormenting hell and eternal separation from God. “And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt” (Daniel 12:2).
Wherever you’re headed today, have you remembered to secure your eternal future? If not, it’s time to pull over and have a prayer session with God. Confess your need for Him, ask His forgiveness, and surrender yourself totally to His will. Then make your U-turn and start following the Savior.
He’s made sure the road is clear.
Written by Kenny Munds