A Time to … Think
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die … (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)
Two days before writing this, Mike was sitting on plane heading for India, when conversation opened up with the passenger next to him, whom he discovered was a psychiatrist. The conversation covered all sorts of things, but eventually turned to the meaning of life, which gave Mike a great opportunity to share the gospel, and to throw out a gentle challenge. "You’re a doctor; you must have faced death many times." "Many," he replied. "But what about your own death?" Mike asked. "Do you think you’ve faced up to that?" The doctor confessed that he hadn’t and that he knew he kept putting off even thinking about it. And that sums up so many people today – which, considering the certainty of death for all of us, is amazingly naïve.
No matter what advances might be made in medical science; no matter how long we might feel we can put off "the fateful day," or even thinking about the fateful day, we will all face the certainty of "a time to die" (Ecclesiastes 3:2). For death is not simply a biological fact; it is also a theological certainty, the result of Adam’s sin on the human race. And while there are sometimes appointments in life that we can’t always keep, our appointment with death is one that none of us will miss or be late for.
That’s why it’s so important to stop and to take "a time to think"; time to think about our future destiny. Now, this could sound a dreary thought for the day; but for those who love Jesus, the Bible is packed with promises about our future hope and the wonderful assurance that death is not the end, but only the beginning. This means that we need never be fearful of death, either for ourselves or our loved ones. For as Paul put it, "He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him" (1 Thessalonians 5:10). And that’s certainly a promise worth taking time to think about!
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God." My times are in your hands. (Psalm 31:14-15)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont