There have been too many deaths lately. I know death is all around us and people die every day, but there are some deaths that pull you up short. There are those that send your own mortality colliding right into your comfort zone.
My friend, Christina’s death was like that because I realized that it could have just as easily been me. It was difficult for my kids because they’re friends with Christina’s kids and they realized it could have just as easily been their mom.
Then, there was the local kid who was killed in a car accident Friday afternoon. I didn’t know him personally, but I don’t think that matters. Once you become a parent, you can’t help but be touched by a child’s death. You can’t help but have your heart break for the family who is living your worst nightmare.
This kid’s death was on everyone’s lips this weekend. He attended a fairly small private Christian school that a bunch of kids from church attend. His dad has been a pediatrician in the area for nearly two decades, so many of my friends and their children were acquainted with the family.
Still, even total strangers were heartbroken for this family who lost their 18-year-old child so unexpectedly.
One of my friends on Facebook posted that she prayed that God’s “presents” would surround the family. I know it was a typo – or maybe her helpful computer or phone filled in the wrong word for her, as they have a habit of doing. I couldn’t help thinking about that this weekend, though.
God’s presents do surround us. Daily. And, so often, we take them for granted. Our spouses are God’s gift to us. He uses them to encourage, support, and refine us. He uses them to show His love to us.
Our children are a gift from God.
“Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.” – Psalm 127:3
Them, too, we take for granted when the days seems so long, while the years are so short. Wouldn’t it put things into perspective if we knew that we were barreling ahead to the day they would be taken from us? I can’t imagine how short the days would seem with that perspective.
The indwelling and guidance of the Holy Spirit is a gift from God.
“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” – Acts 2:38
Even enjoying our lives and our professions and finding opportunities to do good is a gift from God.
“I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.” – Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
God’s greatest gift, however, is the gift of salvation. I know that Christina’s family and this young boy’s family have found comfort in knowing that their loved one is now with their Savior.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8
Have you accepted Christ’s gift of salvation? That is God’s greatest gift to you – the one that enhances the enjoyment of all the others. If you’ve never accepted Christ, I’d love to talk to you about how you can. I don’t have all the answers and I’m not gifted at sharing the truth of God’s word, but I’m willing to let Him work through me. Email me if you want to talk.
If you’ve already accepted Christ, I encourage you today (and this goes for me, too, because I’m just as guilty as the next person) to take time today to fully enjoy God’s presents – His gifts to you. Hug your children and your spouse. Invest in time with them.
Make every moment count because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. Life could be over in the blink of an eye. Let’s make sure we’re living it to its fullest.
And, if you think about it today, say a prayer for the Baughman family – the mom, dad, younger brother and sister – and all the friends and family who will be laying this young man to rest today and grieving their loss while celebrating his life. Pray that God’s presence will surround and comfort them.