Today after a visit on the phone and news that was hard to understand I was reminded that there are many things we don't know and just as many that we cannot control. As I heard about Marcus, a strong, active young man who just celebrated his high school graduation, my heart hurt.
Three weeks ago this young man, whom I use to babysit, was air-lifted to a major medical center with swelling on his brain. The diagnosis was meningitis, treatment given and he returned home. Doctors were amazed at his quick response and recovery.
That was until nearly 10 days later when the symptoms returned and he was again flown away for more help. That was almost a week ago and he's spent most of the time in an induced coma. When he was awake there was pain and I was told the words he speaks are these, "Dad, don't let me die."
As a parent those are hard words to think about; I can't imagine being in his parents' shoes. It's hard enough hearing this from your son, but thinking about the Dr.'s saying something like, "Be prepared for anything, we don't know what lies ahead," complicates things in a big way.
I've thought about this and prayed for Marcus and his family throughout the day and as I've done so I'm reminded of a verse I read this morning. James 4:13-14 says this, "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
I know this statement is true, but Marcus's situation really brings the reality of it to life. They have no idea what tomorrow will bring - will it be a miracle, answered prayer or devastating news that changes the future they've always dreamt of? He doesn't know, his parents don't know and even the Dr.'s don't know, but God does.
And friend perhaps our circumstances aren't as scary and life threatening today as they are for Marcus and his family, but it wasn't long ago, actually a yesterday not even a month ago when his family thought their tomorrow would be like all the ones that had already passed. A "normal busy day full of joys and daily trials" never imaging things would be turned upside down by with what initially appeared to be a headache.
We don't want this reality to scare us or cause us to live in fear and worry, but yet it should wake us up because really we are all on the verge of death. Though each and every one of us are in a different place and going in various directions we are all heading to the same destination - end of life as we know it on this earth.
And this reality brings to mind another passage of scripture, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." Matthew 24:42-44
I close with a question, "Are you ready? Are your children ready?" because we never know...
And please join me in praying for Marcus, his parents, family, friends and all the Dr.s who are trying to help!!