For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
- Ecclesiastes 9:12
Death is such a terrible thing. Not one of us escapes it.
However, we are accustomed to it. We have all attended funerals: sometimes to support friends who have lost close ones, and other times we find people supporting us as we lose those close to us. Death is evil. We see some people with diseases that cannot be cured, and it feels as if an evil net or snare has caught them. It doesn't seem to matter how hard we try and tear at the net, it won't release that which is caught.
We onlookers are also caught. Although not diseased, we are outside the snare looking in, trapped, trying to find ways of releasing our sick friend, and praying that God will shine His mercy upon Death's victim. One of my cousins died of cancer two days ago. He had endured all that the medical world could muster to release him from the net, but he finally resigned himself when they came to their last solution, which didn't work either. He told me they had no more cards up their sleeve.
He left the Lord a few years ago, but his plight triggered a desire to live. I broached the subject, asking him if he still had a faith ( I put it that way purposefully). I had to approach it tenderly, as I didn't want to be cut off from communication with him, which, a while ago, would have been likely. It took some time, but he responded with a "yes, I am hoping for a miracle." Wouldn't anyone hope that way in that position? When we are caught in the nets and snares of life, the first and last thing we hope for is a miracle. We yearn for a miracle. We hope for anything or anyone to come along with an answer. We ask God to intervene, and then we ask louder, then we plead. But God is God and has his reasons for not intervening like we think He should in certain situations. The passage opens with a touch of reality we all should heed, "Man also knoweth not his time." If there is one thing in this world we are not sure of, it is the time of our passing.
To where do we pass? This question is the crux of the verse.
There is a place which has no death, but that is beyond this oxygen wall, and we have to make it there. Christ has told us there is only one way to pass the confines of this life, and that is through Him. When we have given our hearts to Christ in earnest, and remain there, a hole develops in the net, and an exit appears in the snare. When we die, we all pass through as if we had keys. Revelation 1:18 states about Christ, "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." The net and snare of Death cannot hold anyone who dies in Christ. He has the keys of both domains of Hell and Death, and the true follower of Christ cannot be held in either.
Today's Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the marvellous promise of eternal life. Thank you for the fact that Death cannot hold me, nor should I fear it; I pass through. Please give me the strength to believe when caught in that net or snare.