Thursday, June 30, 2011

Death, Destiny and God

There are times when my brain wraps itself around a certain idea, question or memory and won’t let it go. The thoughts churn away in my head, keeping me awake. I lie in bed pondering, remembering, trying to make sense of whatever has captivated my mind. That happened to me while I was on vacation.

Cole was having trouble falling asleep last week. I took him out on the porch of the beach house, sat on the swing and began to sing to him as I had done numerous times before. For some reason a line I sung stayed with me. “You won’t be called home until it’s your time.” I had no explanation why tears began to roll down my cheeks as the chorus continued to reverberate through my mind, my heart.

Long after Cole had been placed in his crib I sat on the porch, looking out over the ocean, reviewing all the things that had happened in my life and things I had seen in the news. Wondering if the statement was true. Were some people always meant to die young? Maybe it is blasphemy what I am about to write but what follows are the questions and thoughts that have been occupying my brain for the past week.

Ecclesiastes 3
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die;

Four things most Christians are taught; we each have our own destiny, we have purpose in life and we have free will under God. We are taught there is a book of life that was written before time began, it includes everyone’s name, the date of our birth and the date of our death.

Exodus 32:31-33
Moses knew of the existence of Jehovah’s book of life, and realized a person’s name could be removed from it.

What if our birth date is etched in stone but our death date is not there or could be changed the same as a person’s name could be removed from the book of life? Could it be free will has the ability to change when some of us die?

Could it be God has chosen a destiny for all of us but through our own time and faults we can possibly change it? Or could it be God’s destiny is the same for all of us, to live a long and happy life? Is it possible through free will we have the ability to change the course of our own providence? Can we alter the providence of another? I know God is always with us. If we listen he will guide us but through free will we always have the ability to make the right as well as the wrong decision. Or is making the wrong decision always been our destiny? Can free will and destiny coincide?

My father once told me “We are put on this earth to take care of each other” Could our purpose be that simple? Do too many of us struggle searching for our purpose, the meaning of life when all God wants and desires of us is to love and help each other?

Genesis 1:28
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

How many times have we heard someone say I married the wrong person, or read about a child or adult who died way too young. I believe in a loving and forgiving God. I can not believe in my heart he would want us to marry the wrong person, be with an abusive or cheating spouse. I believe God’s plan is for all of us to live a long and happy life. To find love, have children and share God’s love with them, with each other. Wasn't that God’s first blessing to us? Life is the most precious gift, God choose to give it to us so doesn’t that mean he would want us to enjoy it, cherish it?

God is always there trying to shepherd us in the right direction, help us find the fruits of his blessings. Sometimes we can look back and clearly see when God put the right person in our life but out of fear, out of confusion, we made the wrong decision, let them walk out of our life, wasted precious time. If we are lucky we can fix our mistakes but other times it is no longer possible and we must search for an alternative, pray God grants us a plan B as it may be. We simply have to listen and wait for God’s guidance when we have made a mistake. Pray God forgives us for not recognizing the gift he was trying to grant us. Try to drown out the guilt we feel, wondering if our mistakes changed another’s destiny. Would they have made that decision if we were a constant in their life? When the guilt, doubts, questions arise is when we need God the most. At times we may feel abandoned, alone and lost but I believe if we are quiet we can hear God. He is the constant in our lives.

Why do I suppose our death date is changeable? Watching the news this morning, I can’t believe God would put such a beautiful child as Caylee Anthony on this earth only to have her murdered. What purpose did that serve? Why would God want anyone murdered? He teaches us forgiveness not hatred and anger. Why would he bless us, give us life and then take it away so young. Why would he inflict so much pain on a child, on those who loved them? He doesn’t, he gives us the strength, love and faith we need to make it through the loss, the heartache, the sorrow. I truly believe we do not die alone, God sends us an Angel to help us on our journey to Heaven, comfort us in our pain, hold us in their arms our last few minutes or seconds on earth. I believe God is loving but the universe can be cruel, there is undoubtedly evil in the world.

I don’t believe God ever intends for someone to be killed by a drunk driver or any other kind of accident. I believe unplanned deaths happen because of free will, someone made the wrong decision, made a mistake. We are all imperfect, human. Accidents can sometimes be just that, an unplanned accident. Our decisions good and bad effect everyone around us. Our mistakes can change someone else’s destiny. Free will is a powerful gift and can effect us both good and bad.

I can’t explain cancer and other diseases that take the lives of so many young people. Maybe through the 2000 plus years of our evolution we have changed our environment so much we are causing cancer. I do know God has given us the intellect and power to find a cure. Miracles, the power of prayer I believe in them but I can’t explain why one person is saved over another. There are so many questions that I can not answer. Questions left in my brain that I can continue to ponder or give them up to God.

Whether I am right or wrong there is one thing I am convinced of, grace. When life does not go as planned, when we make the wrong decision, God grants us grace. Through grace he gives us strength when we are at our weakest. Grace carries us during hard times when we are struggling. Not only does God bestow upon us his grace but we have the ability to share his grace with others. Comfort those in need, help them when they are lost.

For now the questions will continue to swirl in my head. I know I will never have all the answers until I go to heaven. Until then I will try to have the unfaltering faith of a child. Do my best to follow one purpose I am positive of, to love, forgive and take care of my fellow man here on earth.


  1. a sincere Amen...Mary

  2. You asked a lot of questions in this very thoughtful post, but the one that stood out to me the most was "Can free will and destiny coincide?"

    I think that free will and destiny do coincide, somehow, in a way that we will probably not understand until we get to Heaven. I feel that everything is meant to be. Even mistakes. Lessons that come from mistakes are far more valuable, it can turn out, than making the right decision immediately.

    I made a wrong decision, I feel, to become involved with my son's father. That was my free will, but it was destiny because I was meant to have my son. It's all very intricately woven, I'm sure.

    Have you read the book 'The Shack'? It is a great fiction book, from a Christian point of view, that addresses some of the things you why in the world little children are a very unique way. I would say it is one of the top 10 books I've ever read. It was mesmerizing. Of course, I read it when I was going through a very hard time, so it touched my heart. :)

    I'm glad you stopped by so that I, in turn, could find your place. I like it here!

  3. Kelly, first I love your blog I am so happy I found it. You write so beautifully.
    I agree with you and understand the statement about your son. I have a daughter with a man I did not marry when I realized he was not the man for me...but she was most definitely the daughter for me. God knew I was going to need her when Bobby died.
    Since my friend committed suicide in May I have been doing a lot of soul searching, trying to understand why. Was he always meant to kill himself or was someone, me anyone suppose to stop him. See the signs we all missed??
    I read the Shack a few years back, had forgotten all about it until you mentioned it. Might be the perfect book to reread this weekend.
    Thank you so much. I am glad you like it here, that is the most wonderful compliment. It made me smile, thank you:)