It’s been on my mind. And it seems that the longer I delay this post, the more cases I have to support this thought. Since December 2009, I have received news and more news … of death.
The first was an 83 year old man whom I had the opportunity to pray for some years back, and later to make his acquaintance and that of his lovely wife. I spoke at one of the wake services; my first time actually. Quite an experience I must say.
The next was the wife of my dear friend – my schoolmate, classmate, bestman and a dear brother in Christ – she was just 39 years old. They had just been married for over a year when they found out she had breast cancer. A woman who loved the Lord dearly, she chose to stand on His Word completely. After battling for four years, the Lord relieved her of further pain and brought her home. Although she did not receive physical healing, she left a trail of testimonies and lives impacted for God.
Then came another shocker. A Boys’ Brigade friend (just two years older) collapsed after a regular football game. His friends tried to revive him but he died in the ambulance on the way to hospital. Just 46 years old, leaving a wife and a very young daughter.
At the wedding I conducted, one of the guests’ father passed away the day before. At the same time, his wife’s father was admitted into hospital. I learnt two days later that he too passed away. More recently, the wife of a Wesley Methodist Church leader (and mother of my ACS contemporary) went home to be with the Lord. She died of colorectal cancer. By the time they discovered it four months ago, it had already spread to the liver. Last week, one of our faithful ministry helpers’ father passed away. Another cancer patient whom we ministered to in Mauritius was called home at about the same time.
Last Friday, I found out that another classmate’s mother had passed away the day before from colorectal cancer. I dropped by Singapore Casket to spend some time with him. His father appeared and I soon discovered that he was an old family friend – he taught at the same school as my grandmother, he attended my parents’ wedding, he even attended my wedding! He was so sharp and so alert, remembering names and details. On Sunday, I received an SMS that he sustained a stroke at the wake service on Saturday night and died! In a moment, I shall be leaving to attend the funeral service of this dear man and his wife.
How true, the words from James 4:13-15 … “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’, whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.'”
As I contemplate death, may I always remember that this life I live, each day I have, is a gift from God. I want to live it well, to serve Him and to serve others that He brings along my path. That when it is my turn to return home, I would have done and accomplished what I have been placed here to do … to bring glory to God, my Creator; to lead my wife and children in their personal journeys with God; and to touch lives that they too might live for Jesus.