A friend of mine, with whom I had grown up as a child, and with whom I had then spent my formative years together in high school, experienced some chest pain this past Monday afternoon. He drove himself to the hospital, but died of a heart attack shortly thereafter. He leaves behind a grieving wife, children, and a grandchild.
This is sad enough. But the particularly distressing part is that he was only 47 years of age. He was far too young to have died.
Perhaps providentially, our focus last night was on Revelation chapter 7. Verse 17 in this chapter is one of the most beloved and quoted verses of the Bible, especially the last part: “For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; He will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
In times like this, I am especially fond of this promise. Death is a part of life in this world. It cannot be avoided. But praise the Lord, it will not be in the world to come. As W. A. Criswell once said, "I have read the back of the Book, and we win!" I trust the comfort of such a thought will be received by my friend’s family, as well as by all who grieve this day.
One further thought. In 1932, Robert H. Smith penned a now famous poem titled “The Clock of Life”. I thought it would be appropriate to post it here in view of the news I received this week.
THE CLOCK OF LIFE
"The clock of life is wound but once.
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop,
At late or early hour.
To lose one's wealth is sad indeed.
To lose one's health is more.
To lose one's soul is such a loss,
That no man can restore."
Today only is our own.
So live, love, and toil with a will.
Place no faith in tomorrow,
For the clock may soon be still.