A Breath Away

I read the news on social media. She lost her life today. I had worked with her in the past, and she was a kind person. She was soft spoken but firm. I remember the day she interviewed me. She was a tough interviewer. I walked away thinking I had lost the job before I was ever hired. But somehow I got the job. She became a friend. Not a close friend. But a friend.

I remember when I was later laid off from that job. She would text me to see how I was doing. She would send Bible verses to encourage me. She didn’t know how much I appreciated those texts. They were a source of strength during a tough time.

She was a believer. She loved Jesus. She is in heaven now with Him. She has seen Jesus face to face. She will be with him for eternity. She has run the race. She has finished the course. She has heard the words. Well done. Welcome home, my good and faithful servant.

But her family is still on this earth. They are grieving. They are at a huge loss. She was the family’s breadwinner. And she had recently lost her job. Her family will never see her walk through the front door again. She will never again cook dinner for them. She will never be the mother of the groom. She won’t witness her boys’ high school graduations. There is now a huge gap in her family.

Oh. She’s reunited with her mother in heaven. But her husband, sons, father and sister are mourning the fact that she is no longer with them. Their lives will be turned upside down for many months. Even years.

Three weeks ago, my coworker’s children lost their father. Unexpectedly. He was watching tv with his daughters on a Friday night, and he began experiencing erratic breathing. The girls watched as he struggled for each breath. The teenage daughter called for help. But he didn’t survive. Two girls are now without their father. Their single mother is now their sole provider. They are in the midst of grief and uncertainty. They feel like they’re walking on eggshells. They will struggle with grief for many months.

This man will never walk his girls down the aisle on their wedding day. He will never see them mature into women. He will never be able to teach them to drive. He will never again watch tv with them on a Friday night. He will never cheer them on at their softball games. This man is in eternity.

This family doesn’t have the certainty that he is in heaven. He may have never made the decision to follow Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He may have never repented of his sins. His soul may now be in hell for eternity. Let that sink in for a minute.


How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. James 4:14


At some point in each of our lives, we will lose someone close to us. It may be expected, or it may come out of the blue. Life is uncertain. The number of days we live are determined by our Maker. He alone knows when our last breath will be taken. He knows the circumstances around that last breath. He allocates each day and the happenings from sunrise to sunset. He ordains every day of our life. From the moment of our first breath to the last fighting breath we take. God is in control.

We choose how we live our lives. We choose how we respond to each trial and incident that occurs. We make mistakes. We sometimes choose wisely. We walk into situations where we shouldn’t be involved. And we walk away from situations we should make efforts to heal. We want our way, and we’ll sometimes do anything it takes to get what we want.

But it isn’t ours to decide when our life ends. We didn’t choose the moment our life was conceived. And we should allow God to be the one to choose our end date. After all, he determines the course of our days. Let’s let him choose the length of our life. Long or short. Good or bad. Painful or pain free.

Our days are not our own. Oh. We like to think we’re in control. But God allows us freedom to choose how we live. It doesn’t mean that we make good choices. But we only have one life. Let’s choose to live under God’s leading. He knows best. His ways are perfect. And if we’re living for him, it doesn’t matter the length of our life on this earth. Because the day we breathe our last breath on this earth, as a forgiven child of God, is the day we enter heaven’s gates. It doesn’t get any better than that.

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