Those of you who frequently read my blog may remember my blog entry in November, asking you to pray for Ashley Turlington. I met Ashley when she fell from a horse and hit the pavement in front of my house. Along with some others who stopped to help, her boyfriend and I treated her for shock and took care of her until the rescue squad came. He and I weren't sure she would survive the fall, but miraculously, she only suffered from a concussion and various cuts and bruises.
That had been their third date. My wife and I said at the time that the experience would either drive them apart or cement them together. It wasn't long before they were engaged. I was doing premarital counseling, and they had asked me to perform their wedding in Puerto Rico.
Last Friday morning, on her way to meet us for a premarital counseling breakfast, Ashley fell asleep at the wheel. Her car went off an embankment, and she was killed instantly.
Ashley was a vibrant, vivacious young lady, only 24 years old. She was a strong Christian, and had dreams of doing missions work overseas. She wanted to work with victims of human trafficking. She was a student at Liberty University. Ashley touched people's lives in Florida, as well as in Virginia. She will be greatly missed.
When tragedies like this happen, people have a lot of questions. They wonder why God would allow someone so young to die? Someone with so promising a future. Someone who was engaged to be married. Why would God rescue her in November, only to allow her to die now?
There is no end to the questions we could ask. In the end, the faithful must learn a lesson from Job 1:20-21
At this [suffering], Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
If we come into the world naked, and depart from the world naked, then each day we live, each person we touch, each experience we have is a blessing. God owes us nothing. All we have, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health--we have because of God. We are blessed to be part of God's plan, for 100 years or 24 years or 2 minutes. The length is not as important as the quality of life lived.
God owes us nothing, but because we are so blessed, we owe God our praise. "May the name of the LORD be praised," Job said. Ashley lived in such a way that every day praised the Lord. Though it was short, her life was full. May God bring blessing to her, and to her friends and family as they remember her.