Our life is in God’s hand. We do not know how long we can live in this world and when we meet God face to face after leaving this world. However, we are grateful for being born in this world and experiencing a lot in our life. Every day, when we wake up and take a new breath, feel the sun shines on our skin, and when we meet lovely people around us, we are blessed. However, have we ever imagined that we can know the time of our death? How if we know that tomorrow is our time to pass away? What can we do?
The story of King Hezekiah can help us reflect our life in this world and understand who we are before God and who God is for us. Hezekiah became a King of Judah when he was 25 years old. He ruled Judah from 729 BC to 687 BC and for about 29 years reigned in Jerusalem. As a king, of course, he had everything. But, it didn't save his life. Hezekiah was sick and almost died. In that difficult situation, he came to God in prayer and asked God to give him a longer life. God saw Hezekiah's sincerity and gave Hezekiah 15 more years to live. Hezekiah's salvation comes from God who has power over life and death.
Before God, we are only dust. We are a tiny thing in the large universe. And we can disappear from the face of the earth easily. Nowadays the human thinks that he is a ruler of everything in the world and owns all things. The human can do everything. Not like the other creatures. Nevertheless, when people face death, they cannot overcome it. It is still a mystery.
What we own now cannot save us. Only God can make us safe. We may ask ourselves: Do we really rely on God? When King Hezekiah realized that he would die, he prayed a beautiful prayer: "Ah, Yahweh, remember, I beg you, that I have behaved faithfully and with sincerity of heart in your presence and done what you regard as right." Hezekiah had a heart like a little child. He was honest before God. God viewed his honesty and humility and gave him a long life. Matthew writes in the Gospel: "The one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven" (Mt. 18:4).
We are grateful that every day we are given the breath of life and still can live. Moreover, we give thanks that we have a special gift from God which is Jesus Christ who wanted to be born as a child and dwelt among us. This is a great miracle that God wanted to be a man like we are. The gift of life is also a responsibility. We are born with a purpose, namely for the glory of God and the happiness of others.
Someone advised me to live as if I could die tomorrow. If you will die tomorrow, what should you do today? In other words, do a favor every day.
By Fr. Aris Mada, SVD.