Jesus Holds the Keys

Yesterday, our family set out for the day excited to spend memorial day weekend together as a family doing enjoyable things.  We started the weekend by going to the birthday party of a special little five year old in our community group.  ON the way home, two blocks from our house, we stopped at a stop sign and a man in front of us started accelerating backwards. He kept going faster and faster and before I could put the car in reverse or move anywhere he slammed into the side of our car, kept going at a high speed, spun around into a school yard where he hit a tree to come to a stop.

We got out of the car screaming, people who heard it started pouring out of their houses and calling 911, the police came, the ambulance came.  Thankfully, everyone was actually ok.  If you could see our car you would be surprised that our toddler wasn’t hurt, because the door right next to her was completely smashed.  God decided that yesterday was not the day for any of us to die.

However, we also have a son who did die a little over five years ago.  He was five and a half months old when he died of brain damage of a seemingly random in utero event, something like a stroke.  We did many things to try to avoid his death, but God chose the day that he died, and he took him to be with him.

You see, Jesus is the one who holds the keys to death and the grave, and no one goes through the door of death without him making it to be.  We did nothing to save ourselves yesterday, and we tried everything to save our son five years ago. Yesterday we didn’t die.  Five years ago, Henryk did die.

What can we learn from this? God is Lord.  He is in control and he is intentional about our lives.  This is a helpful truth on Memorial Day, where we spend the weekend remembering people who have died while serving in the armed forces.  Even though tragic and horrendously sad, we can know that with God, the timing of their deaths was not a mistake.  While they dedicated their lives to honorable service to our country, God chose to unlock the door and call them through it, and this weekend we can praise him for their willingness to protect their country and be grateful for them.

My exhortation for us this morning is to humbly remember those who died serving our country, and also humbly know deep in our hearts that God is good and in control and he knows what he is doing.  I exhort us to trust God, even in the matters of life and death.

Let’s pray.

Father, thank you for the men and women who have sacrificially given their lives to serve our country.  Thank you for caring about every one of them.

Often times Father we tend to think we have ultimate control of our future, but this is not true, and we confess this error.  Yes, we may plan our steps but God, you are in control of the future, including the day we are appointed to pass through the door from this life to the next.

Father, the arrogance we often have in regards to the day we are appointed to pass through that door, is a great evil, and we know that if we in the church regard sin in our midst, our prayers will be ineffectual, so we confess our individual sins to you now in a time of silent confession. ...

Father, thank you for hearing us in our prayers.  We praise you this Sunday morning and we trust you.  In Jesus’ name, AMEN!