These pessimistic words were rudely pronounced when I informed a friend that a lifetime neighbor had died. He was number two. My mother’s passing the week before was number one. The implication was that someone we know is going to die soon. And someone probably will.
How can these prophetic words not be true? I know many older people who are not very healthy. Winter is especially hazardous for them with slippery walkways, flu, and pneumonia threatening. If we include all kinds of bad luck, I can say that the prophecy has already been fulfilled. The recent rains have made a mess of the construction site where we are trying to build a shop. Construction is hopelessly behind schedule.
Beyond the fact that such negative sayings do nothing to help anyone deal with life’s challenges, I do not consider any of these things as negatives. My mother was a spunky ninety-year-old and lived an active life until her last week. Mom declared in no uncertain terms that she did not want to lay around in bed waiting to die. She was granted this desire because she was only incapacitated for eight days before she passed from this life to her eternal residence in Heaven. Our neighbor was ninety-one, and he passed in his sleep. He was still living at home with daily visits from local family. His extended family loved him deeply. He lived a God-blessed life. As for the rain, we did not want it at this time, but I will never complain about rain when crops need moisture and ponds are not completely full.
How we see things is our choice. I choose to not let my thinking be controlled by the old saying about bad things coming in threes. That is man’s fatalistic thinking. The recent events may be challenging, but it takes very little effort to see how God is working in each of the “bad” situations to bring good things to those who choose to see His work around them.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28