In reaction to the death of a young person, the initial response is usually something along the lines of, “gone too soon” or “died before their time”. But is there any truth to that?
I may be opening a can of worms here but I can’t help but get uncomfortable when I hear those two statements or any variation of them. When a young persons dies, did they really die before their time, are we just uncomfortable with the fact that young people die or are we trying to justify a young person’s death through the statements we say in reaction? (Or none of those things).
A good friend of mine took his own life a few years ago (4 years ago this November) and I remember the feelings that came with the grief. Not only was I mourning his loss, but it just didn’t feel right. From my perspective (and I’m sure many can relate to this), when a young person dies, it just doesn’t feel right. A young death stirs up an uneasiness within us that seems to perplex us and question their death. In comparison, when an elderly person dies, although grief happens, that same uneasiness and uncomfortable feelings associated with a young death do not necessarily come up.
For example, this summer I went home for a friend’s wedding and it just so happened that the three days I was home, a precious elderly man in my home church had died and his funeral was when I was home. At his funeral, one of the pastor’s that spoke said something that I have been thinking about ever since. He said, “I don’t think God created humans to be able to handle death.” He went on to say how when God initially created the first humans, we were created to be in God’s constant presence in the garden. Experiencing death was not in God’s original plan. How else do you explain Revelation 21:4 (this portion of Scripture is talking about what heaven will be like), “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
After hearing what this pastor had to say, I thought, “Huh, that is so true!” Humans don’t handle death well because God never created us to handle it whatsoever in the first place. Makes sense! Now I’m not trying to present the message that I know everything there is to know about God and death…I’m just putting my thoughts out there.
So now that I have ranted about all that is on my brain about this topic, my question is, even if someone dies young, does God already have determined when someone dies? Even if it seems untimely to us, is it all part of God’s providence? And then you can get into sticky topics of the way some young people die: car accidents, overdose, illness, suicide, etc…the list could go on and on.
Does God know already when He creates someone when they will die?
This is what I have found the Bible says:
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16)
“A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” (Job 14:5)
All of these Bible passages connote the message that God knows; He determines when we will be born and when we will die. In Job, it specifically says, “a person’s days are determined.”
As humans and as Christians, I think we need to be at peace with the fact that we won’t always be at peace with all the mysterious questions of life. I’m perfectly content not knowing all the mysteries of the universe. As Isaiah 55:8 says, “for my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways your ways.” Although I don’t have all the answers, I’m okay with that because I try my best to put my full trust in God and let life happen as it will happen because I know God is in control.
God bless ❤