I’ve been thinking for a while about the day God has assigned for me to die. I’m not inclined to fight it… (Philosophical reflection would be appropriate here). I haven’t gone crazy and don’t send men with a white jacket just yet. Hear me out. One more thing… this is just for me and doesn’t apply to anyone else!
My thoughts about dying began many years ago, then last week I read an article that made good sense to me on many levels. (NOTE: Follow the links below, they are important support for my thoughts)
I don’t fear death, I do have a little trepidation about the process of dying. FOR THE CHRISTIAN death is not something to fear, rather something to be rejoiced in and looked forward to! I look forward to seeing Jesus face to face rather than by faith. I look forward to seeing GOD rejoice that I am finally with Him. I look forward to at least two angles taking me by the hand as I breathe my last to usher me into the presence of God. I look forward to having a new body… an eternal one… that is perfect. I look forward to having a unique name no one else has and receiving a crown of righteousness. I look forward to absolute rest in God’s presence. I look forward to my name being in the Lamb’s Book of Life. I look forward to worshiping God IN PERSON. There is a reason Paul encouraged the Thessalonians about death in 1 Thess 4:18! One trait of a believer is LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING JESUS (CLICK, CLICK, CLICK)… Which can’t happen unless: 1) We die, OR 2) He returns prior to us dying. If I had my choice (Which I don’t) I’d prefer not to die but SEE Jesus return on the clouds!
I’m not inclined to spending days on end sitting in a chair staring into space. I’m not inclined to being an emotional and physical burden to my family. There is a difference between extending life and prolonging death (Read that again). I am NOT for active euthanasia NOR do I support active medical means to shorten life. Again, there is a difference between extending life and prolonging death. Given all these things, there are two things to consider seriously… 1) Preparing my family and 2) At what point do I choose to no longer fight the inevitable?
Preparing My Family. My hope and prayer is that they will have the same view about eternity as presented above. I pray they will embrace the hope offered in Scripture about life and living on earth (Get the difference?). It is my responsibility to prepare them. It is NOT their responsibility to be prepared. I must prepare them by…
Living a life that honors and glorifies God now,
Talking often and winsomely about seeing Jesus and one day entering heaven,
Pointing regularly to the passages of hope for believers about death and eternity in Scripture,
Speaking in a Biblical manner about death when it periodically enters our family,
Reminding them that Jesus DIED so that through death WE LIVE!
When Is It Proper To No Longer Fight The Inevitable? That’s the hard one isn’t it? It will boil down to when is life being lengthened or death prolonged? At some point, the inevitable WILL happen no matter what medical advances there are. Thankfully that decision is out of my hands because God has ALREADY set the day of my passing. But somehow… in the mystery of God… my choices and decisions will lead to that day (I can eat healthy and exercise OR not, and the day of my death may be put off or come quicker… BUT it is still already in God’s book. That’s a serious head scratcher!). I’m going to have to ask God for wisdom on this one along with loving counsel from my wife.
Well, that’s my meditation for now. I don’t have all the answers, but maybe thinking about these things now are preparing me… us… you?
Ron, At 87 years of age (Come the 15th of Oct 2014) I have many of these thoughts myself. When I think of dying I think of my Dad at 81 years young, when he passed. He was a passenger in my car when I helped to his find his nitro-glycerin pills and in 5 minutes or less we were at the Blount Memorial Hospital. They schocked him back to life and took him to ICU and within the hour, he was dead. Heart attack and he smiled the whole time. He was healthy as a horse and I thought he would outlive me. He had a smile on his face the entire trip-I guess he was seeing Jesus or mother. He loved them both and in that order-I’m sure. He was a wonderful Christian man and everybody that knew him knew that. Thanks for your thoughts, Luke
I have made physical preparations for my family but the spiritual preparations began for me many years ago. My family all kow the preparations have been made and though they do not like to hear me talk about the thought of deat, I do not find it morbid at all, only realistic. You have the most thought provoking blogs, Br. Ron, very real and necessary to stir us to think about our lives, our future, and our families.