I remember where I was the morning I found out about the Columbia Space Shuttle tragedy. I was at the neighborhood store buying things for my grandmother. I saw how seven innocent lives were wiped away with one explosion. Too often when we hear of tragedies like this, we give their names but we don’t realize that their loved ones treasured them and that the victims each had a soul and eternal destiny. These brave astronauts sacrificed their lives to explore outer space and discover new horizons. They did what the average citizen wouldn’t do. They had courage, strength, enthusiasm and a profound love for their occupation.
God valued these victims dearly and He had a special plan for their lives. They may have died accomplishing it but they died knowing what their purpose was and they carried it out fervently. Not too many people do this. My prayer is that these victims came to know Christ prior to this terrible accident. This tragedy reminds me of how fleeting life really is. The Bible says that there is a time for everything, a time to be born and a time to die. Many older people say to the young ones, “You have your whole life ahead of you.” In these dangerous times, I think we should reconsider that statement. I think about singers Aaliyah and Lisa Lopes, young women who seemed to have it all yet died in the prime of their life. I bet the astronauts didn’t think this tragic day would come. But for those of us who are Christians, we have hope not because we’ve been a good person or because we did many great deeds. It’s because we trusted Christ as our Lord and Savior for eternal life and forgiveness.
As we reflect on this tragedy, let us pray that these precious souls are at peace with God and let us pray for the families of these victims. They need God’s love and grace in this period of grief.