by Tim Hall
Life is uncertain. Does the Bible have any advice?
The quickest route to my hometown involves crossing Black Mountain. The summit of Black Mountain is Kentucky’s highest point, and to cover the 17 miles from its base in Virginia to the other side requires about 45 minutes.
The road is at times steep, and there are plenty of curves to be negotiated.
Rounding any curve requires a bit of faith, though we rarely think about that fact.
How do we know what we’ll find when we reach the other side? Will a coal truck be hogging my lane? Has a tree fallen across the road? If my speed is too great, will I have time to make adjustments before a terrible accident occurs?
Life can be like rounding a curve. We assume that we’ll be able to handle the bend in the road, but will we? What is waiting on the other side? Will a serious health issue stop us in our tracks?
Accidents are unforeseen, but they happen regularly. Before I assume my travel through the day ahead will be uneventful, I should do a reality check.
James taught us how we should view life. Think about these words in James 4:14,15:
“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.'”
Two truths stand out in that passage: (1) Life is unpredictable. We don’t often acknowledge that fact. Instead, we make plans for tomorrow without questioning that tomorrow will come.
So far tomorrow has always come for each person reading this article. But one day today will be our last day, and there will be no tomorrow. Translation: We’re mortal, and we can’t predict what lies around that next curve.
(2) Our lives should be grounded in God’s will. As James put it, “If the Lord wills” should be our daily motto.
We woke up this morning because it was in God’s will. Tomorrow we will carry out our plans if it is in God’s will for us to still be alive on this earth. This does not mean that God causes all things to happen. We do learn from it, though, that we should keep our lives centered in God’s will, not in our own.
Since I can’t be sure I’ll make it through the curve ahead, wouldn’t it be wise to prepare for any possibility?
“For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8).