DayBreaks for 8/29/18: Not for Two Minutes
From the DayBreaks archive, August 2008:
I have a lot of questions that I’d like to ask God. I know that I have no right to ask Him anything – except that He seems to welcome our questions and He seems to even encourage them. That doesn’t mean He always tells us the answer.
One of the most difficult questions that anyone can ask God is posed when they stand over the casket of a child. Marshall Shelley, at one time an editor for a Christian magazine (Leadership), had a baby boy named Toby who was born at 8:20 p.m. on 11/22/91. Toby died two minutes later, at 8:22 p.m.. Here’s what Marshall had to say: “My wife Susan and I never got to see him take his first steps. We barely got to see him take his first breath. I don’t know if he would have enjoyed softball or software, dinosaurs or dragonflies. We never got to wrestle, race, or read…What would have made him laugh? Made him scared? Made him angry?”
It turns out that Toby was born with a very rare genetic disorder. Three months after Toby died, Marshall and Susan’s two-year-old daughter, Mandy, died. Understandably, in their deep grief, the Shelleys wrestled with their faith and their God. “Why,” Marshall wrote, “did God create a child to live two minutes?”
I believe that God gave Marshall the answer that he and his wife needed to hear – an answer that I would not have anticipated. Marshall shared that answer: “He didn’t. [And] He didn’t create Mandy to live two years. He did not create me to live 40 years (or whatever number he may choose to extend my days in this world). God created Toby for eternity. He created each of us for eternity…”
It seems that whenever we lose someone we love, or even a pet, we ask “Why? Why is life so short?” We are so earth-bound that we can’t see (or we fail to remember) that God didn’t create any of us for just a few minutes, years or decades on this earth. We are all created to live in eternity and that is His desire for us. It doesn’t take away the pain of loss that we feel in our hearts, but it gives us a different perspective with which to see the things that happen to us. And perspective is something we so often lack in this world.
God made you for eternity. For now, you are here. Let’s make the most of the present while preparing for forever.
PRAYER: We are thankful, Father, that You didn’t just create us to live and few years and then be gone like the morning mist, but that You formed each of us for eternity. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.