"Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins."
Cancer. Car accidents. Death of a child.
It affects us all.
There is no person who has ever lived that has not had to face a tragedy, whether directly or indirectly. I have never been hit by a car (yet). Ann Marie has. I have never had cancer (yet). Luba has. I have never had child die (yet). Suzanne has.
Many times I sit back and wonder why some people have had to go through such physically painful experiences and why my life has been, at least from a physical perspective, easy. My life is not over, yet, so I know that there is as much opportunity as anyone else for me to have cancer, be in a car accident or suffer the death of a child. At this time, though, my thoughts are some where else. How do I comfort? How do I encourage? How do I help?
When Ann Marie tells me they might amputate her legs... what can I do? When Luba shares that she has stomach cancer... what can I do? When a missionary family looses a son... what can I do?
God is in control. It is true. And I believe it with all my heart. It is in these times when my faith is put to the test on behalf of others. It is in these times that I cry out to God from the deepest part of my soul.
It is also, as James says, arrogant for me to plan my days as if I am in control. I could die tomorrow. I could lose my leg, my eye, my child, my job, my money and my life. Where is my hope based? It is based in the reality that all things perish except Christ. Only what is done for Him, by Him and through Him will last.