In my line of work, I deal with families who lose loved ones, sometimes without warning. In the process of treatment, utilizing all of our knowledge to resuscitate using drugs, physical techniques (like CPR) and others, we connect patients to heart monitors, which count their heartbeats per minute. Usually 70 is a good heart rate but at those times, any heart rate is preferred to none.
But it struck me that the number of beats our heart makes is a definite number. It has a definite beginning, and a definite end. It begins when our little hearts begin in our mother’s womb, and end, sometimes on an E.R. treatment bed. If a person truly wished to discover this number, it is probably possible. But it is a number God already knows.
Let that sink in. God knows the number of beats your heart will make, He knows how many you have left. He also knows what you’ve done with each of them. If God numbers our hairs (Matthew 10:30) would He not know our heartbeats? Consider the following:
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
“I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us,
When I witness an unexpected death, I grieve with the family. None of us know when our beats come to an end. Many times we can’t predict it, let alone prepare for it. I am reminded of a movie, called “In Time” that came out in 2011. In the film, people stop aging at 25, but have a clock on their arm to tell them exactly how much time they have left. They work for time, and barter time to pay for things, instead of using money. Though the movie failed to perform at the box office, it pointed out the innate human desire to know our time. If we knew when we would die, don’t you think we would be better prepared for it? Or if we knew our death was near, would we go out and run up our credit cards and live like royalty? Could you imagine a world where you knew exactly how much time you had left to live? Seems to me this is information we are better off not knowing. Besides, I believe we have something better.
I think about the impact my death would have on my family, or theirs on me. Death can come so suddenly and destructively, it just leaves devastation in its wake. That’s why I praise God that I serve one who conquered death, that rose from the grave, and offers me hope for the same.
I know that when my number comes up, He will be standing there, arms outstretched, saying, “Welcome Home!” For when I die, eternity is laid out before me, and I will never die again. “For it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that, the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) “For there is now no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ.” (Romans 8:1) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (Joh 3:16)
It is that hope that helps me help others in the midst of their tragedy. And I am grateful to God for His indescribable gift!