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'Mail' Newspaper Articles

Focal Point (for publishing—30/11/10)

It’s Never the Right Time

When I sat down to write this article last week we had just received the news that the miners in the New Zealand mine had officially been declared lost. For their families and friends it was a disastrous blow and brought an end to the hope vigil that they were holding. The timing of their deaths was not in their planning – it was not the right time – it was not meant to end here. One young man I heard about left an unborn child and an obviously distraught partner. Another had been constantly urged by his wife to get out of mining and had done so for periods of time but always went back. She lived in the hope that one day he would get out and she could relax. Time has now run out for her. It seems that it is never the right time to die.

They are too young, like the beautiful young girl we saw on TV last week who even had her own worries about being remembered after she has gone. ‘They are cut down in their prime’. ‘They had their whole life in front of them’. ‘But I have children to raise’. ‘But I want to get married first’, and on the list goes. This talk is true to human form because the life we are given to live is the only one we have. From where I sit this planet was magnificently crafted to suit humans – we fit here. When I was younger I had a mentality of slash and burn because ‘This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through’. How sad, but as I grew older and wiser I saw that I was created for this moment, this place, so I need to enjoy every minute of it. No wonder we don’t want to leave.

I was talking to a young man the other night who has a faith in God and believes in prayer. His uncle with alcoholic problems went into cardiac arrest and was in serious danger of dying. This young man prayed hard and his uncle survived. Now he agreed with me that he could not be sure that his particular prayers were answered, or were answered necessarily because of the fervent and genuine concern he had for his uncle when he came to God in prayer. However, whatever his state of mind and attitude, he needed to thank God anyway for His provision and the restoration of his uncle’s life. That’s the key issue. Without wishing to discourage him but only to help him get a proper grip on the understanding of life and prayer etc, I said, ‘of course he has been raised to life to die another day’. We already know but the Bible makes it clear, ‘It is appointed to man once to die’. That’s life, says Hinch on 3AW every afternoon. However, to whom else can we turn when we are clinging to hope and wanting help desperately, but to the God who creates and sustains us? No good turning to idols, movie stars, wooden objects and the twinkling stars, we need to turn to the one who can do something about our need.

Of course life needs to run its course and prayers are not always answered in the way we want. God is not a cosmic superman, but He can sustain us through the grief and the loss and provide solace in the dark and lonely times. I don’t know what I would have done if I couldn’t have been able to cling to him in some of my darkest hours. If you are suffering the loss of someone close, let Jesus, God’s Son carry you during this hard and dark time. Don’t know whether you can trust Him to do it? Try Him out. May God bless you with His peace.

Graeme Dawson
B.Min. Grad.Dip.CC.
Co-ordinator Focal Point & Valley Care Clinical Counsellor
0409 517273


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