I was thumbing through one of my Bibles the other day when I found a devotion I'd torn out of a booklet.
I can't tell you the year the devo was written. But it was written about a hero of mine, Pistol Pete Maravich, college basketball's greatest scorer. Let me share it with you:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. Isaiah 55:8.
No one ever played basketball like Pete Maravich. He was a ball-handling wizard, a scoring machine who broke nearly every major college scoring record. Ten years as an NBA star and millions of dollars later, he retired - unhappy and empty.
But that's not the end of the story. In 1983, Pete surrendered his life to Christ. For the next four years, his driving passion was to share with others the wonderful joy he had found in Jesus. Then, early in 1988, he died suddenly of heart failure. He was only 40 years old.
Why did God take him? Why didn't he allow Pete to continue leading people to Christ with his hard-hitting testimony? Perhaps Pete's autopsy report holds the answer. Doctors discovered that Pete had a congenital heart problem that should have prevented him from playing basketball. In fact, they said he probably should have never lived beyond age 20. Suddenly, we get a glimpse of God's marvelous ways. He didn't take Pete early; He preserved his life until he had accepted Christ and made his testimony known.
When death claims a believer who is still in his prime, we wonder why. That's natural. But our wondering should never lead to doubting God's goodness or wisdom. He remains trustworthy. His ways are higher, and so much better, than our ways.