Esther had won a beauty contest, married a king, and from her position of influence had uncovered a plot to kill all the Jews. She had a mentor, Mordecai, who told her, "You didn't get into this position by accident. Who knows but that you have come to Royal position for such a time as this." (Esther 4:14) And so she had. The task before her was to approach the king (very dangerous in those days) and expose the plot.
I don't suppose that Mr Bates relished having multiple myeloma and he must have been even more disappointed to die from it only six months later. He never even knew what it was all about, but I was sent to take a blood sample from him when he got the diagnosis. He took that opportunity to witness to me and invite me to his church. Perhaps he witnessed to many people, I don't know. He never knew it, but the Sunday after he died I visited his church for the first time and if he had not died I doubt that the preacher would have preached that particular sermon that led to my conversion. I hope Mr Bates was given the good news when he arrived in heaven. He may not have understood but his widow did and so did the members of the prayer group that had been praying about those whom he witnessed to.
When disaster falls upon us we are often perplexed as to why. What have I ever done to deserve this? What sort of God are you to bring this upon me? Is there a God at all? The questions slip easily onto out lips. But we do have a God who cares and his main priority is to save souls from Hell. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should turn from their wicked ways and live. It is certain that unless the Lord returns we shall all fall sick and die.
The sheriff surrounded by superior weaponry is apt to say, "You may kill me, but I'll certainly take some of you with me."
I'm going to heaven, but I hope to take some of you with me.