Friday, March 18

A Thought About Death

A few weeks before my wife's father died, I had mused, "The portent of my father-in-law's death causes me to reflect. Two things strike me in the wake of this knowledge:  1) We live in practice as if we will live forever on this earth, and 2) we live as if this earth were all that there is to enjoy."

Now, that's all I'd jotted down at the time. Those two statements are true enough, and even now, two months after his death, they still land on my heart with a weight which only the irreversibility of death can cause. Dad did die and sooner than we were all expecting. But he knew Jesus Christ. No, read that again . . . HE KNEW JESUS CHRIST! And with that everything changes! Praise the Lord we have a sure hope which no one can remove. And nothing, not even cancer can diminish it's joys. Dad is quite happy right now.

Let me add these words from Octavius Winslow which were posted on 17 February.

The Final Sickness

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalm 116:15.

It is solemnly true that there is a “time to die.” Ah! affecting thought- a “time to die!” A time when this mortal conflict will be over- when this heart will cease to feel, alike insensible to joy or sorrow- when this head will ache and these eyes will weep no more- best and holiest of all- a time “when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality,” and we shall “see Christ as He is, and be like Him.” If this be so, then, O Christian, why this anxious, trembling fear? Your time of death, with all its attendant circumstances, is in the Lord’s hand. All is appointed and arranged by Him who loves you, and who redeemed you- infinite goodness, wisdom, and faithfulness consulting your highest happiness in each circumstance of your departure.

The final sickness cannot come, the “last enemy” cannot strike, until He bids it. All is in His hand. Then calmly, confidingly, leave life’s closing scene with Him. You cannot die away from Jesus. Whether your spirit wings its flight at home or abroad, amid strangers or friends, by a lingering process or by a sudden stroke, in brightness or in gloom, Jesus will be with you; and, upheld by His grace, and cheered with His presence, you shall triumphantly exclaim, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me: your rod and your staff, they comfort me,” bearing your dying testimony to the faithfulness of God, and the preciousness of His promises. My time to die is in Your hand, O Lord, and there I calmly leave it.
The death of our loved ones who depart to Christ should breathe a sobering breath of life into our souls. We are here but briefly really. Get ready, yes. LIVE ready is far better!

How are you living?

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