In the 24th chapter of Ezekiel, God takes the life of Ezekiel’s wife, and forbids him to mourn her death. This is a sign to the people of Israel, for they will shortly hear of the destruction of Jerusalem and the razing of the temple, and they will be so dumbfounded that they will be unable to mourn.
Could someone go up to Ezekiel’s wife that day and say, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life?” In fact, God’s plan was for her to die. Could you make that statement to the thief on the cross, who had no life left to live?
Too much of Christianity today is focused on how to make ourselves happy and have a wonderful life. One of the most popular evangelical tools, the Four Spiritual Laws of Campus Crusade, teach us that this is how it ought to be, and that we should become Christians because of how wonderful our life will be. But God’s plan for us may very well be for our life to end suddenly. If our hope is in this world, we are likely to be disappointed. But if our hope is in what will happen as a consequence of our death, then we can rest assured that our hope will be realized.