Where was God in the tragic death of one of his choice servants?
This is a tender and volatile time in the Charismatic and Pentecostal religious world, as people ponder the wisdom, ethics or perhaps just the diplomacy of a perceived “personal” God, who makes personal decisions about who goes or stays, when and how, especially between the malevolent Hitlers and “Hate-lers” of the world and the benevolent teachers and life enhancers of the world, like Dr Myles Munroe, his beloved wife and 7 other precious human beings on that fateful flight last Sunday night. Dr Myles was my friend of over 40 years. I know the integrity of his heart and the poignancy, power and global efficacy of his incomparable ministry at least as it relates to the religious genre and discipline many culturally embrace.
Was his sudden death the judgment of God? Was it reckless more than risky faith? Or was it just their time to go, and if so, why so violently or with such presumed indignity? What can or should we learn from this unsettling, unnerving and unfortunate reality? Why was David Wilkerson, a man believed to be under a heavy “prophetic” anointing, killed in a tragic car accident just a few years back? And what about the reported suicidal death of Bishop David Huskins of the Intl Communion of Charismatic Churches, who succeeded the beloved Bishop Earl Paulk, who stepped down in what some insist was scandalous disgrace? I knew him personally and we’d ministered together.
Should any of these precious and pressured people be considered to have died in defense of the faith or “gospel” or because of their globally impacting testimonies? Should they be considered Martyrs of the faith or just collateral damage?
Scriptures says “who has known the mind of the Lord, that we may instruct him, but we have the mind of Christ.” Wonderful passage of scripture, but it would appear that, at least on this particular decision, our minds may indeed be in conflict with the presumed mind of Christ. Do you presume this to be your God’s personal choice or decision, or was this just a freakish accident and sudden act of nature? Are you questioning the wisdom of God to feel disappointed in what many, as a last confusing resort, to be the “will of God?
Myles’ passing was so unexpected and sudden. I have one of his books, “Becoming a leader”. He is dearly missed, and has left an indelible signature in the hearts of many who have been impacted by his inspiring teachings. It is encouraging to be reminded of the wisdom and revelations of Myles’ words that give hope to each of us, as we remember we have the potential to make positive contributions to the world that bear our unique signature, like how he himself has also made tremendous contributions in empowering others and has left a legacy for the world to benefit from.
Jesus’ words came to my mind when I was reflecting on Myles’ death or passing or transition – “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit”, which is similar to his words about how it was expedient for the disciples that he went away, so that the Holy Spirit, the comforter and teacher, would come and guide us into all truth and teach us all things. Yes, in the same way, it is in a sense timely and prophetic that Myles recently felt that his work on earth was completed, and his death has indeed brought about a greater awareness among people around the world of his profound and empowering teachings. It is also heartwarming to know that he has enjoyed a wonderful marriage with his wife, who lived and died together with him, at a time when both their children are grown-ups and are able to take care of themselves.
As Carlton Pearson shared in the above video message, Myles Munroe’s vision and courage is remarkable. I find the last part of the video especially inspiring, when he read Myles’ son Chairo’s statement:
“Although we are grieving our losses, we will never be nor will we ever feel hopeless… We will not allow death to claim our victory but we celebrate the life and legacy of each individual… This tragedy does not mark the end of life, the end of vision, the end of the journey, nor the end of the purpose, but it marks the beginning of an era – an era of a new generation that will carry on the vision and legacy of my father and my mother and each individual whose life was lost so unexpectedly… Let’s not mourn their deaths, but let’s celebrate their lives and find joy in knowing that although God will not explain himself, he will reveal himself…. In the words of my father, ‘the greatest tragedy in life is not death; it is a life without purpose’. In all of this, we are now the vessels of this new vision and this new legacy to be carried on.”
Yes, as Carlton Pearson said, this revelation is powerful, and I like his sharing about how Myles used to teach him how to snorkel and jump off the boat into the ocean, and how Myles would launch into the deep fearlessly, both literally and metaphorically.
I have also watched the moving tribute made by Chairo and two other speakers in the church meeting. Myles was such a loving and caring dad, and like Chairo said, his dad has always believed in people, and regardless of how long he spoke or travelled, he always made time for people, which I find inspiring and touching. The sight of them weeping at the loss of this wonderful man brought tears to my eyes too, and I remember reading somewhere about tears being the language of the soul. Myles’ passing is indeed an opportunity to remember to appreciate the moments with people whom we love and care about in our lives, as mentioned by his son. Incidentally, I was listening to this song called “Cherish”, which goes:
“Cherish the love we have
For as long as we both shall live
Cherish the love
Cherish the life
Cherish the love”
– Kool and the Gang
I also like what Chairo said about his mum being the perfect helpmate for his dad, and like another speaker said too in encouragement, we all have a part to play in the vision that did not die with Myles, to continue the tasks, and we need each other, for the vision must go on. The song they sang towards the end of the meeting is fitting too – “bind us together Lord.. there is only one Body… that is why we sing.”