Winning the Living Lottery

This week I read on the local news a young 29 year old women was killed and her new 2 month old baby was rushed to hospital after a drunk driver crashed into her family’s car from behind.  They were driving on the same highway I drive several times a week at an hour I could have been driving my car.   Why her?

This week I read blog posts from a good friend who’s child has a cancer recurrence and will be fighting for her life once again.  Her posts are heartbreaking as she tells us of moments she is simply drinking in the essence of her daughter while she still have time with her.  Why her child?

These are just two stories of many, many stories I hear and read about.  Loved ones lost.  Loved ones sick.  Loved ones commit suicide.  Loved ones killed by tragic accidents.  Loved ones die when their health has failed them.

And I sit on my living room floor and I hug my children.  I embrace them and smell their hair and squeeze them and wish time could stop so nothing happens to any of them.  I breathe a sigh of relief when my husband walks in the door, not just because I have some reprieve from the kids, but because he is home safe.  He is safe.

It can be so overwhelmingly frightening knowing we can’t hold on forever.  We can’t keep our loved ones safe.  We don’t know when tragedy will strike us.  When will our time come?

Last Spring, I stopped writing my blog on a regular basis.  I was going through some health issues myself and I was scared something was wrong with me.  I couldn’t be open and honest on a blog when I was afraid I was ill.  Really ill.

It turns out I was perfectly fine.  Probably burned out and exhibiting signs of being overtired and over-stressed.  Our bodies react in very physical ways when they continue to experience stress without relief.  I don’t need to explain why I may have been experiencing prolonged stress with the busy household we have.

But thinking something was really wrong with me kept me awake at night.  How could a mother of five young children die and leave her kids without a mother?  I lost my mother when I was 29 and it crushed me.  I still miss her being in my life very much.  How would these young children feel?  They would be affected for life.

Fortunately, and by God’s grace and will for my life, I’m still here.  And I’m healthy.  I’m able to take care of my family each day with energy and love.

But why are some people taken?  This is not a new question.  It feels like we are playing a living lottery here.  Who’s going to be next?  When will  I again feel the anguish of losing a loved one?

I can only dig into what I know about being a child of God.  It comes from the Heidelberg Catechism.  Q & A 1.

Q. What is your only comfort in life and death?

A.

That I am not my own, 1

but belong with body and soul,

both in life and in death, 2

to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. 3

He has fully paid for all my sins

with his precious blood, 4

and has set me free

from all the power of the devil. 5

He also preserves me in such a way 6

that without the will of my heavenly Father

not a hair can fall from my head; 7

indeed, all things must work together

for my salvation. 8

Therefore, by his Holy Spirit

he also assures me

of eternal life 9

and makes me heartily willing and ready

from now on to live for him. 10

He preserves me.  

I am not my own.

He has set me free.

From now on to live for him.

What I glean from this is there is no giving up hope.  There is no sitting around in fear, waiting for something bad to happen.

Life is about being heartily willing and ready to live for God. No matter the circumstances.  No matter the cost.

And it’s not a lottery.  Our lives are far from being a lottery.  There is no chance we exist apart from the will of our loving, heavenly Father.

Deaths will still occur.  We will lose loved ones.  But we will not grieve without the comfort of knowing our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, has set us free from the grip of fear and ultimately, the grip of death.

For this reason alone, I can live my life in confidence and enjoy the beautiful treasures I live with each day.

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