Garden of Grace: The mystery of tomorrow

Christine Laws, Special to The County
9 years ago

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away” (James 4:14 KJV).

“Close your eyes; I have a surprise.” I love those words. The surprise is usually something good, and the mystery of what it could be is as thrilling as the surprise itself. But recently my oldest daughter’s surprise left me feeling a bit hollow.
She held two pink roses in her hand. They were small, only partially open, barely past the bud stage. She planned to dry them because they looked so nice; I thought they would have looked much nicer in full bloom.
Another surprise came on a Tuesday morning. A friend asked if I would edit several manuscripts for her magazine; she needed to fly to the West Coast where some of her family lives. I was happy to help but sad that she had to go on this unexpected trip. The evening before, her 14-year-old brother had been swimming in the river behind their parents’ farm. He encountered deeper water than he could handle; he disappeared under its surface and drowned.
Later I learned that an acquaintance of mine also lost a brother at a young age. He had been on his way to fight a fire when he had an automobile accident; he died instantly. He was only 20.
Those two lives were so short. But even when someone lives for more than a century, that is still a short time compared to eternity. Tomorrow is a mystery; we have no guarantee that it will come. And even when it does, it is no longer called tomorrow. It is called today.
We have today — this moment. If we had met either of those young men the day before they died, we never would have guessed what the next day would bring. As with that pair of roses before my daughter picked them, we would have seen promise in those youth. We would have assumed that they would continue to bloom.
Life is short and tomorrow is a mystery. Thankfully, both of those young men had trusted in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as payment for their sin. What if they had waited until tomorrow?
    Christine Laws is a freelance writer and editor living in Amity. Her essays, stories, and poems have appeared in a variety of magazines and church papers. She is also the author of “Fresh and Fruitful: Cultivating the Art of Writing.”