Looking at Loss and Gaining Insight About Life
Written February 2018
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. -Psalms 90:12
Looking back over the past year and even a little bit beyond that I can honestly say that I have been blessed and have made many memories that bring a smile to my face. However, the events that have made the greatest impact in my life throughout the past months have not been happy ones, but rather sad ones.
Just about two weeks ago a girl I had graduated high school with lost her battle with cancer. She was only 39 and left a husband and two children behind. We were not close friends but we had a number of classes together and her passing saddened me and also got me to think hard about the preciousness and frailty of life. This was someone that was just a few months younger than me and now her earthly life was ended.
Another sad memory happened back in October when my uncle had a heart attack and suddenly passed away. We were at the beach at the time and my father called me in the morning and I could tell he was somewhat shaken up and he told me what had happened. This was the first time that I could remember that a family member that I had grown up knowing and being around had passed so suddenly. One day he was here,
happy and joyful with a contagious laugh and boisterous personality and then in an instant he was gone.
Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. -Psalms 116:15
Not very long ago we celebrated the life of a dear saint of who has gone home to be with the Lord, Bobbie Hines. I had visited with her the very first week I was pastor of Mars Hill and had seen her just a few days before she passed. As I mentioned during her funeral service Bobbie always had a smile on her face and a happy disposition whatever might come. Though I never got to know her as well as many of you did I miss her greatly.
This past Christmas I received word from my mother that my grandfather was in the hospital battling some fluid on his heart. Thankfully everything was okay and the doctors were able to help my grandfather through this but this was still a stressful situation as one of the most important people in my life was in the hospital battling something quite serious.
All these events were by no means pleasant. I have to admit to having certain level anxiety mixed in with unbelief, fear, trepidation, and a sense of not knowing exactly what to do during certain points. However, though unpleasant as these events were they did impress upon me one thing very clearly. Life is precious.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. -Psalms 139:13
then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. -Genesis 2:7
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”– yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. – James 4:13-14
Through all the uncertainty, tears, sorrow, and grief I gained a clearer and sharper perspective on life, its brevity and its value. Psalm 90:12 talks about numbering our days that we might gain wisdom and you know that is a powerful action to take in your life. To see that your days are not infinite but rather they are limited. As I began to think about that so many things popped into my mind. Who I am as a father and husband and how I am using my time on this earth. My position as a pastor and proclaimer of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This all brought me to one simple question, what am I doing with the life I have been given?