The recent killing of four marines in Chattanooga raises the question, at least for me, of why today? It’s a question I ponder about death. In the case of my dad, it was death by cancer. He clung to life until the appointed day of his death.
As the marines drove to work that day, they had no foreknowledge of the fate that awaited them. That day they were in the right place at the wrong time.
I understand God has given mankind freewill and the choices we make will impact our life as well as the life of others. The gunman of the marines choose the day he would purposely fire an AK-47 rifle at innocent people. In the process, he was empowered to determine the day he and four others would die.
Certainly the families of the slain, like me, have asked why today. As I try to wrap my thoughts around death, I am reminded that scriptures only provide a glimpse into the mystery of death.
“It is in the plan that all men die once. After that, they will stand before God and be judged.” Hebrews 9:27 NLV “Man’s days are determined; you (God) have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” Job 14:5
In this age of electronic devices death is broadcasted in real-time and reminds us that life is but a breath; it can end with little or no warning. Even as I write this piece another senseless massacre has taken place in a Louisiana movie theater; three people are dead and others seriously injured.
What I do know about death is we will all die. Some will experience a prolonged death; others may die instantaneously, accidentally or by choice. The knowledge that death is inevitable poses a greater question. Are we prepared to meet our maker when that why today moment happens?
The Psalmist said, “My whole life is in your hands.” Psalm 31:15 NIRV
When we trust that God is sovereign and in control of all things, the victory of the cross overcomes the fear of death. When our life is in God’s hands the why today question is answered with why not today.