Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
It was like deja vu.
Another Malaysia Airlines flight mysteriously vanishing from the sky.
Scores of people dead in an instant.
Government leaders and aviation experts scrambling for answers.
Hundreds of families and friends grieving for their loved ones.
The world in shock once again.
Nothing could have prepared the world for what happened on Thursday, July 17, 2014. A passenger airplane, carrying 298 people, was shot out of the sky as it flew over a war zone in eastern Ukraine. Residents of a Ukrainian village reported debris and corpses falling out of the sky — one woman said a body fell through her roof, another body fell into a neighbor’s garden. Hundreds of bodies fell into the wheat fields around the village.
Just as it seemed the world was recovering from the shock of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 — where 239 people were lost forever after a plane inexplicably vanished somewhere — another tragedy eerily reminiscent of the first re-opened worries, fears, and feelings of helplessness. The shock of this unexpected occurrence, which left families around the world from Australia to the Netherlands to the United States mourning the loss of their loved ones, reminds us of the fact that we can be here today and gone tomorrow. Or, more accurately in this case, here one minute and gone the next.
In times like these, we should call to mind the Bible’s words in James 4:14: “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”
As King David prayed in Psalm 39:4: “LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.”
This event reminds us that our lives are no more valuable than the lives of those lost on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. We are just as fragile. We, too, can be here one moment and gone the next. We can pass from life to eternity in an instant because of some unexpected, tragic event that is totally beyond our control. Such events remind us that we need to be ready for death and for what comes after death: a meeting with God, our Creator, and the beginning of life in an eternal destination.
MUSICAL SELECTION: “Blink” by Revive