Last week, in part one of my blog post entitled, “When a Christian Dies Prematurely,” I wrote about the difficulty of having to deal with the untimely death of a saved loved one caused by illness or accident. You never really can prepare for something like that. Even if the person dies a natural death, it’s just not easy. Therefore, I’d like to continue to share insights I have found to be helpful when I have had to come to terms with an untimely death of someone I love.
- One day, we will understand why God allowed the untimely death to happen. In I Corinthians 13:12, we are told that eventually, we will know God fully as He knows us. God knows exactly why we do what we do. Therefore, we will get to know why He did what He did at some point. We may get the explanation on this side of glory or when we get to heaven. Therefore, since God has promised to explain why he allowed events to happen at some point in time, we can let it go, for now, until He is ready to reveal an explanation in His good time. Stop trying to figure it out. It’s pointless. The secret things belong to the Lord (Deuteronomy 29:29).
- Regardless of what we have experienced in the past, we are still obligated to pray for the sick. When a person is sick unto death, it’s our job as Christians to pray earnestly for the person even if someone we prayed for in our past died anyway. We must believe that it is still God’s will is to heal in spite of it all. Therefore, we must lay hands on the sick and anoint them with oil as it says in James 5:14. We must believe the Lord will heal the object of our prayers, and we leave the outcome to God. We must not conclude that it’s not God’s will to heal and believe He won’t heal in the future just because someone died in spite of our prayers. As I said last week, we just don’t know everything that is going on behind the scenes. Who knows? The next time everything, including that which we cannot see, may be lined up as necessary, and the healing will flow.
- God always has a strategic plan and purpose for the death of His saints. The Bible has given examples of people who died untimely deaths, and in the end, God got the glory.
- In II Kings 4, the woman with two sons who were about to be taken into slavery to pay off debt experienced the untimely death of her husband.
- In II Kings 20:19-20, a prophecy went forth that King Josiah would die an early death to spare him from having to see the disaster that was forthcoming in the future, and the prophecy came to pass.
- In John 11:1-44, Lazarus (the brother of Mary and Martha) died, and Jesus raised Him from the dead.
- Jesus Himself died a premature death at 33 years of age (Luke 23:46), was raised from the dead and paved the way for us to receive salvation. The Bible says, “Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15). Therefore, when God has allowed the passing of His precious children, we need to understand that He has a strategic plan and purpose in the death of any Christian. It’s not something that He has chosen to allow in a haphazard manner. His purposes and plans are always well thought out, although it may not appear to be so from our limited perspective.
- God has an assignment for each of us. I believe that God will use each of us to accomplish that which He planned for us to do in this life. Job 42:2 says, “No plan of [His] can be thwarted.” If our loved one ended up leaving this earth in a time frame that seems premature to us, God had a plan, and our beloved’s days were written in His book before the foundation of the world (Psalm 139:16). If we view an untimely death as the completion of the assignment of God in the earth, although accepting His will may still be difficult, hopefully we will be able to release our loved one into the hands of our Heavenly Father.
In summary, whenever there is an untimely death due to illness or accident, in the end we must trust the Lord or go crazy. There is just no other way to look at it. We will never understand God’s strategy for running the universe. If we could understand, then we would be on His level. He will never allow that. There is only one God, and we are not Him. Therefore, we have to make up in our minds to refuse to try to figure out why God does what He does and allows what He allows. Let’s exercise patience and wait for Him to reveal the unknowns in the sweet by and by as He promised in His Word. If He has promised to tell us later what He chooses not to impart to us in the present, can we simply forego having to understand the unfathomable at the moment so that we can embrace the peace of God?
If you have experienced the untimely passing of a loved one, what insight has God given you? Please share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
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