Day by day, moment by moment, we live life thinking that we will have "another one." Its an an assumption that we all make . After all , if we live an average life , we will live 28,105 days. ( 365x77).
But the Bible says "What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." ( James 4:14). "Each mans life is but a breath." ( Psalm 39:5).
10 days ago the father of one of our members died in an traffic accident caused by a heart attack. It was totally unexpected. Then , on the day of the funeral an aunt died of a blood clot that struck her heart. Totally unexpected. It has been a blurry two weeks for them...first one funeral, then travel, and another funeral.
Last night our Children's Minister's ( Aaron Rathbone) father had a heart attack and died. Just like that. He was 63. ( By my calculations, if he lived an average life span he still would have had 6000 days left.) Mike Rathbone was a faithful minister of the Lord's church. He was a good father, good husband, an encourager of other people. He was the guy that was at the hospital when other people died, some earlier than expected, some not. He was the guy that comforted people in funerals, told people in hospitals that God would be with them before the surgery. He was the guy who spoke of the love of God, the neccesity of faith in Jesus Christ and the hope of eternal life.
He never would get to have his name in lights... never get alot of accolades. But he was a shepherd. He was a teacher. He was a kind man. No pretense about him at all. He was a man who was faithful unto death. And last night, He went home to his reward. Heaven.
I often find myself saying about someone who is a believer and has died, "Good for them, bad for us." I know that Aaron and his siblings were not ready for this. It was totally unexpected. But it turned out to be "the day." Thier comfort comes in knowing that He is with Jesus.
Aaron and his family will press on... because it is what Mike would have done. As hard as it is, they still have some days to live... full days... many happy days.... and some days filled with sorrow. Some days will be really hard, other days ...not so much. Mike will be missed by his wife, his children and his grandchildren and the church he served.
No one knows if they get the full allotment of days ( 28,000 plus). Some get more... one lady in oklahoma just celebrated her 109th birthday ( that is nearly 40,000 days). Some don't get to the average. Thier lives are in a sense cut short.
So the Psalmist says, "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12
No matter what tomorrow brings or doesn't bring, what is most important is whether or not you and I are ready to meet the Lord. Are you ready to face judgement? Am I ready? Yeah, I am . I am confident Mike was too. How do I know? We share a common bond... Jesus. He makes the way to God possible through His blood and sacrifice on the Cross.
For that I am thankful.
Your prayers for Aaron and his family are appreciated...