For a week and a half now, news outlets have been closely following the story of an airliner which mysteriously vanished. Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with 239 people aboard disappeared March 8 on a night flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China. At the time of this writing (March 19), no trace of the missing plane has been found. Various theories as to why the plane disappeared have been suggested, including mechanical failure, sabotage, and hijacking. Regardless of the cause, family and friends continue to anxiously await any news concerning the fate of their loved ones.
Periodically, Christians vanish for some of the same reasons. Perhaps they had been cruising along faithfully in their service to the Lord, but then things begin to change. They are not as involved as they once were. They are less frequent at Christian gatherings. They seem more and more distant. And then, they drop off the radar screen. Gone.
Sometimes its “mechanical failure.” When the wheels fall off in life, it can lead to a spiritual crash. Perhaps this is some of what Jesus had in mind when He referred to the rocky soil and thorns that can choke out spiritual growth (Luke 8:13-14). Sometimes it’s “sabotage.” Satan is like the thief Jesus talks about who only seeks to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). The devil is a spiritual terrorist who wants to blow up faithful lives. Sometimes its “hijacking.” The attractions of this present world can be powerful, leading to a course correction toward disaster (1 John 2:14-14; 2 Timothy 4:10).
Whatever the cause, let’s be vigilant for the signs that can lead to disappearance. Rarely does a Christian vanish immediately and without a trace. There are usually some warning signals that point to potential disaster. Spiritual lives are at state, perhaps our own or those of others. Efforts made now before disaster strikes can help avoid searching for signs of wreckage later, when it may be too late.
God loves you!