Whenever we are faced with death and dying, whether it is a loved one getting a terminal disease or a massive disaster like yesterday's tsunami, we might find ourselves asking why. "Why did You let them die?"
But God doesn't want anyone to die. He'd rather everyone return to Him.
God's Word says,
"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming." (2 Peter 3:8-12a)
A clear, in-depth analysis of this passage can be found here.
We cannot control nature and many other circumstances. We cannot avoid death and dying. But we can choose to trust fully in the One who is in control, the One who is Lord of both the living and the dead, the One who died and rose again.
God is patient with us, giving us countless opportunities to return to Him before our life's candle finally snuffs out. With Him, there is salvation and fullness of life in every way. Without Him, there is only darkness and despair and death, even before one's last breath. Back then, I was dead but didn't really know it. Life --- meaning, purpose, destiny --- only began when I dedicated my life to Him.
What are we waiting for? Tomorrow might be too late.