This week I participated in the funeral of my uncle James Turley. More than a decade ago he received a new heart from a twenty year old. Uncle James didn’t die because his heart wore out… he died from cancer. That was a surprise to me. The family had not expected him to live near as long as he did. Still… the day of his death was not when we expected it.
Recently I found out a person who was a member of a church I previously served had passed away. He competed in triathlons and recently placed 3rd in a marathon. I guess you’d say he was a healthy individual. But within a week he had a surgery with complications and he passed away. He was my age and when I heard of his passing I was greatly surprised.
We expect older people with health problems to pass away. But the first time or two people our own age pass we are briefly sobered. And when young people die, we are almost always surprised. However… God is never surprised by any event, including when people move from this life to the next regardless of age… and here’s why…
Psalm 139:16, “In your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” That means the day of my birth was written in God’s book… the day I was saved was written there… the day I got married, when my children were born, AND the day I will leave this life are also there. And they were written down BEFORE any of them occurred!
Does that mean God looked into the future to see what would happen, then He had them written down in heaven? No! I say that because of what is written in Scripture from the mouth of Almighty God Himself.
Isaiah 46:9-10, “Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose…”
God’s plan for all things has been in place since before the creation of the world. This does not negate man’s freedom or responsibility! Somehow, beyond my puny human mind’s ability to comprehend, God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility are equally true.
The fact remains that God is never surprised… ever… by anything. That is very comforting…