My friend was looking for candor. He genuinely wanted to know how I felt about the concept that “it was their time”.
This is not an easy question to entertain. The more untimely the death, the more painful it is to consider. Our boys were just about set to launch... How could anyone subscribe to the idea that this was their designated time to die?
The idea of a set time to die is so hard to accept - especially when it involves a child, a poor judgement call or death at the hand of a perpetrator. How could this be God’s will? Our inclination and desire for fairness shrieks to be heard.
I acknowledge two things that enable me to live with this un-ease:
There is a wrestling with God’s sovereignty. As my friend puts it, “God didn’t see fit to consult with her on this” when her son died.
I take special note in Psalm 139: David talks about God ordaining the length of days for me, and he follows that statement with, “How precious are your thoughts to me, O God. How vast is the sum of them.”
God has our days set out for us before we even take our first breath. Despite the length of time we are given, we have the assurance that we are indeed precious to Him. Not an ounce of our darkness or suffering goes unnoticed by our loving Creator. He is present with us in it.
Note that David mentions “leading us in the everlasting way” at the end of the Psalm. Ultimately, this is our hope and assurance, that there is eternity yet ahead for those who love God, whose hearts are yielded toward Him.
Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Thy book they were all written,
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.