He was loved the day he entered into our lives. He had a unique charm and appeal about him. He was the first to take to the dance floor at his mom’s wedding and showed off his moves. He loved music from guitar recitals to becoming the next big rap artist. His words and rhythm were that of an established artist. He was studying to get his degree in architecture, but if you asked him, he was already an architect. He stepped into his dream without the required paperwork because that’s how he lived. The world was his for the taking. And he loved Jesus! He died in his sleep at the age of twenty-one. Now we see through a glass dimly.
One of the greatest mysteries of life is why things happen when they do and why they happen to certain people. Why are people cut down in the prime of their lives? What is the purpose of a premature death? Why does God appoint more years of life to some and not others? If God loves us, why does he take our loved ones, our spouses, our children, our grandchildren, when we want and need them most? Now we see through a glass dimly.
It’s hard to answer questions like these when posed to you, when you yourself are struggling with the same questions. The reality is that none of us are guaranteed a certain number of years or how long we have to live. You may think that twenty years old makes one a young person, but if they only have thirty years to live, they are actually old. Conversely if one is forty but will live to be eighty, they are relatively young. Only God knows at any given time if we are young or old. So what do we do with this information?
When my dad died earlier this year I resolved to be the man I heard described at his funeral. His death created a determination to be a better man and make a difference in the lives of others. When my grandson died last month I resolved to make every day count. Dad’s death created purpose; my grandson’s death created urgency. None of us can recapture wasted days but oh what a privilege to be given new opportunities with each new day to make them count. Life for me is not about what you acquire but rather what you leave behind. Are people better off for knowing me? Are my kids better off because I am their dad? Do people see enough of Christ in my life that they desire to want to know him better? Am I really loving people supernaturally as God does?
1 Corinthians 13 says that now we see through a glass dimly. In other words in this life we won’t have all the answers to the hard questions. We will never be able to understand or even accept God’s higher ways. We will struggle to find purpose in suffering. But the verse goes on to say when we are with Christ we will look back and understand. In my last conversation with my grandson I confirmed his faith in Christ. There will be an empty chair for the holidays and a hole in our hearts that will not be filled in this life. But there will be a day when looking back won’t be important and having the answers won’t matter. I am prepared for that day. I pray you will be as well. Now we see through a glass dimly but then we will see all things clearly.