Out of Order
Posted in Fear/Anxiety
SCRIPTURE: “Beloved be certain of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day….But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” – II Peter 3:8,10
We humans do not like uncertainty. Our devices are calibrated to keep us on track, on schedule, up to date. There’s little time for inconvenient diversions or distractions. We have to plan ahead in order to maintain control of our importance. But, and there’s always a “but,” life does not depend on us, and we can’t always direct it to accommodate our own cycles. As disturbing as the reality is, we are not in control.
We have come to expect a certain number of “out of order” signs on vending machines, washers and dryers, elevators, computer systems and… well you get the idea. “Things” break down. We understand, accept, and deal with that routinely.
But when “order” itself is out of order, we’re not always able to fix it or even to deal with it. There are some life altering events over which we have little to no effective control. Life itself, our own or the lives of others we love, may be beyond our own capabilities to understand, manage, direct, or control.
I suspect there is nothing that any parent fears more than the death of his or her own child. It’s not the natural order. It’s the wrong sequence. It is terrifying to consider and more horrific to endure. The child should outlive the parent. The loss by death of any loved one is heartbreaking, but the magnitude of that loss “out of order” is disproportionately accentuated.
The recent, sudden and unexpected death of a beloved niece of mine was/is devastating to her husband, her teenage daughter, siblings, and a host of relatives and friends. I grieve with and for them all. It pains me deeply to attempt at understanding the degree of anguish being experienced by her parents, my own big brother and sister-in-law. Although it is not a possible choice, I’m certain that either and both would trade places with their little girl if that was an option.
As Christians, we may fear dying, but we don’t have need to fear death itself. As human parents, the anguish comes because it is not what we have expected. But we are not left without hope: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).
PRAYER: Holy God, we are not as “together” as we sometimes think we are or pretend to be. Help us to seek and see you first and clearly. Amen.
Submitted by Bobby Fuller