Tragedy Should Make us Think!

Richard Thetford

Every time there is a natural disaster, such has just taken place in Japan, we are instantly reminded about how quickly things can happen in our lives when we least expect it. As I look at the complete and total destruction of property in those pictures of Japan, I think about the many years it took for people, working together, to build those cities, factories, etc. and in just a moment in time, it was all destroyed. On Friday, the 11th, everyone was going about their daily lives, enjoying life and family. The next day, they were homeless, hurt, and hungry. Many of their loved ones have been killed or are missing. I have seen pictures of people huddled together in blankets in a shelter area with no place to go; because there is no place left.

This tragedy causes me to think about the fact that we must be prepared for heaven and that this day may very well be the last day that we have to live on earth. Jesus, Paul, and James all emphasized the need for us to be ready for heaven. The apostle Paul wrote, “For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief” (1 Thessalonians 5:2). Christians can rejoice that we are not “in darkness” and that we strive to live our lives for Christ, being in fellowship with Him. Many Christians have spent their whole life studying and living faithfully, looking for the great reward of heaven. It is a terrible and sad thing when people value “things” of this world more than the treasures of heaven. The fact is, we are all going to die (unless Jesus comes first), and therefore we must be prepared for the day that we die, not allowing it to come upon us a thief in the night. The total devastation that we are seeing in Japan is nothing compared to the devastation that will result for the soul that is not “in Christ” on the day of our death (Galatians 3:26-27). Can it be said of us that we really are preparing and building our lives day by day, looking forward to being with Jesus?