January 12, 2006

Wrong Place at the Wrong Time?

Psalm 139:13-18

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16


Some years ago a young man on his way to the funeral of a family member was killed in a car accident. A local newspaper quoted a state trooper as saying that the young man had been in "the wrong place at the wrong time." That comment raises an important question: Is the outcome of our lives in this new year just a matter of being at a certain place at a certain time? Is my life no more than a matter of chance or of making sure I don't take the wrong turn? Thank God that the outcome of my life is not determined by such things. Of course God does not want us to be careless or reckless. But when all is said and done, life is not a matter of chance, and whether I live or die this year is not determined by being in a certain place at a certain time. According to Psalm 139:16, the number of my days is carefully determined by God himself. The Lord Jesus says that not even a sparrow falls "to the ground apart from the will of [our] Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:29-30). With that assurance I can enter into a new year, travel when I have to, make plans, and do all sorts of things trusting that God is watching over me. God himself has determined the number of my days.

Thank you, Father, that you have set the number of our days. Help me to live in that assurance and to be faithful in using the time you have given me. In Jesus' name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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