by Richard Lee (guest contributor)
This year 2014, Malaysia went through one of the most difficult times in the aviation history. Malaysia Airlines lost two commercial planes in two separate tragedies. Some 600 souls from all walks of life were lost in the two unfortunate events. Many races of different nationalities and religious backgrounds left this earth unexpectedly (Ecclesiastes 9:12). One plane went missing. Believed to be somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Another was shot down in Europe. Such tragedies remind us about the brevity of life (I Peter 1:24) and the certainty of death (Hebrews 9:27).
It is a very difficult time for those who lost their loved ones. The hope of seeing one another never materialized. All smiles turned to sadness and all joy turned to sorrows. It is a time of mourning. All of us will one day be separated from our loved ones but to be gone forever without saying goodbye, without a word, without warning is hard to accept. What did our loved ones do wrong? Why MH 370 or why MH 17? Why? Why? Why?
It reminds me of the story of Job. When tragedy strikes; it is awful. Silence. For seven days and seven nights, not a single word spoken (Job 2:13). Job cursed the day he was born (Job 3). Eliphaz thought that Job had sinned. That is a very common conclusion when things go wrong. The finger points to somewhere, someone somewhat.
Yes, all have sinned and come short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) and the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) Yet, we all know that not all diseases and sudden deaths are the results of sin. Job was “a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?” (Job 1:8). He went through what is commonly termed as “human suffering.” Evil men suffer. Good men are not spared, neither of diseases nor death.
Preparation to face death and judgment is very important while we are on earth and still alive. Time is opportunity! Living righteously and religiously is not the key as in the case of Cornelius (Acts 10). He and his household needed to know the good news and to act accordingly. They believed in Jesus. They had faith. They had their sins washed away but not by the Holy Spirit. We must have our sins washed away also. This is by means of baptism (Acts 22:16). We must be religiously right before we face the Creator of this Universe, suddenly or expired due to old age or by way of prolonged disease. Are we prepared or we are prepared!?