Today I mourn the loss of a special young man. Justin Magers is a church member and friend of our church staff. Saturday Justin was killed in an auto-motorcycle accident while serving as a special language instructor in India.
Justin was driving the motorcycle when he was forced, by another vehicle, into oncoming traffic. Justin was killed instantly. A close friend of Justin’s, Jon Miller, was critically injured and is at this moment fighting for his life. Jon’s parents live in Cabot, Arkansas, where some of our church staff have relatives on that staff.
God’s word teaches that there is a time to live, a time to die (Ecclesiastes 3). I understand that. I get the fact that we all must experience our lives until we are called home. I know there is a beginning and an end of our time here. I get it.
What I don’t get is how God determines the schedule. In my extremely myopic vision, it seems to me that it is to the benefit of the Kingdom for Justin to serve in India. He had a passion for the people there, and a great love for those with whom he worked. Justin wanted to see the world come to Christ, and was willing to cross it to make it happen. Surely, God could have allowed his life and ministry to continue. Surely, Justin’s guardian angel should have been able to protect him and save him. And surely, the Kingdom work done in India has been set back due to Justin’s loss.
As my mind wanders through the possible purposes, I wonder if this is another event that is part of God’s permissive will; not necessarily His preference, but something He allows to happen due to a set of circumstances He deems important. Maybe God allowed this to happen in order to bring attention to the lack of people willing to give it all away to serve another. Maybe this has happened to protect Justin or to prevent something even more horrible at a later time.
I cannot allow the thought that the enemy sneaks into my thought process- that God really didn’t care what happened at all to Justin. That is the voice of the enemy, who thrives on sadness, grief, and frustration.
Because I am who I am and because God is Who He is, I will not know the answer to the questions surrounding the death of Justin Magers. Because of the love letter God sent to us, I do, however, know some things….
1) God is not surprised by things that happen.
2) God has a plan. And that plan offers hope and life.
3) We’ll see Justin again.
As I continue to think thru the “why” of this, I’ll suppose I’ll have to add this to the growing list of questions I want to ask when I see Jesus, face-to-face.
My guess is that we’ll see people across the world moved and motivated by the life of one young man willing to go. People will be changed because one man said “I will go; I will follow where you lead”.
Justin was willing to give up his life here in the states to serve the lost people of India. And I believe that Justin’s death will somehow introduce someone to faith in Jesus Christ.
Justin would be pleased. Justin, you are the man. Blessings, my brother.