An Appointment With Death
Now that things are opening up on the downswing of COVID-19, my schedule is starting to quickly fill up. All of the appointments that were skipped or canceled because of the pandemic are now being re-booked and each day is getting busier and busier. Doctor, dentist, haircut, bank, school —you name it—appointments are back and all of our calendars reflect it.
Yet there is one appointment that was never cancelled to begin with and won’t show up on our calendars: our appointment with death.
We don’t like to talk about death. It’s a subject that makes us too uncomfortable. This is understandable emotionally but irrational logically. Each one of us is going to die. That is an absolute certainty. So why do we avoid thinking about it? Why do we secretly pretend like it isn’t going to happen and keep our mind occupied with other things?
I wonder if our theology of death is weak. You don’t have to be a Christian to know that death is coming for you, but you do have to be a Christian to know that death is an appointment on our calendar. By “appointment” I mean it is a fixed day and time that somewhere in the future our path will cross with, and then we will die. Until then, however, death is no threat.
Consider it from the vantage point of Scripture. Reflecting on the unborn baby within the womb, the Psalmist also sees in the creation of life God’s destiny for each person.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
I don’t know if God has a literal book (ie. calendar) that he writes the number of our days in. I do, however, believe that God has literally predestined us to live a certain number of days on earth. Once that number is full, we die. Such a truth makes death no less predictable from our earthly vantage point, but makes death completely predictable from a heavenly one. Before we are even born, God set our appointment with death and nothing we do can change it.
Understanding that God is in control of our destiny ought to bring us great comfort. It means that the responsibility to prolong our lives is not ultimately in our hands. It means that before we reach our appointment with death, we are untouchable. We will die when God chooses for us to die and not one day sooner. It should allow us to live our lives responsibly and without paranoia. When we get in our car, we should put on a seatbelt. But if we die in a car crash, that is in God’s hands. We should wash our hands and limit exposure to germs, but if we catch COVID-19 and die from it, that is in God’s hands.
Until you reach your appointment with death, you can’t die. The sustainer of life will ensure it. Nevertheless, it is wise to be ready for that day to come. It could be today, or it could be decades from now. Either way, put your faith in the one who can save your soul and rest in the fact that your destiny is in his hands.
Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.