Right now, I’m doing one of the things I love the most. I’m sitting on my back porch enjoying the peaceful quietness of the early morning before my family wakes up. We’ve had a light sprinkling of rain so it’s cool enough I had to don a sweatshirt over my jammies. My planter of herbs is particularly fragrant this morning. You can see the sun starting to emerge from the rain clouds. The birds are waking and the crickets are still chirping. You can smell my first pot of coffee brewing in the kitchen. All is well.
I have no current life threatening stress in my life. I am not hovering in any hospital. I am not anxiously eyeing my phone for texts or phone calls with certain bad news. To the best of my knowledge, my friends and family are well. Their kids are doing alright. No one is deathly ill. My little family are safe behind me in our home, sleeping peacefully. My corner of the world is well.
There have been many times in my life that I have not been able to say that. I have known the absolute devastation of being a child having a parent die early in life. I know the tumultuous unknowns of having the remaining parent be haunted by mental illness. I have witnessed the torturous slow deaths of friends and loved ones barraged by cancer. Abuse, divorce, suicide, pain, murder, heartbreak, financial ruin, depression, disease, hardship, war, none of us have remained untouched by the difficulties of this life. Yet we cling to this life with everything we have.
I have to admit I struggle when I am sent prayer requests for individuals who may die soon. It’s as if that would be the worse thing possible for these people to die. We’ve someone been convinced by Satan that this world with all its broken-ness and hurt and pain in the end all. That somehow we should be happier here than in Heaven. I admit, if these individuals are not Christ followers than yes, I’m all for giving them a little more time on this god forsaken planet so they can figure things out long enough to know this is actually really not where they want to be. But why as Christians are we so afraid of dying? Isn’t our ultimate goal to be with our Father in heaven? Why are we putting it off?
There are plenty of examples of Jesus intervening in the lives of dying after their loved ones pleaded to him to do so . Lazurus, Jairus’ daughter, Tabitha, the widow of Nain’s son just to name a few. I know there are lots and lots of stories where God has intervened and for whatever reason people are healed and live until another appointed time. I have obviously done the same for many people. I have prayed for miracles and for divine intervention, and for God’s mind to be changed. I have begged for the lives of precious little babies, beautiful friends, and of course my mother. I actually intentionally walked away from God when he did not answer my prayers the way I wanted him to do when my mother was dying. But the more I think about it why would I want to prolong the life of a suffering soul here on earth?
If I truly love people enough to share the gospel with them isn’t my ultimate goal to help them get all the way to heaven as soon as God is ready for them?
Hopefully, you can hear my questioning tone. I don’t have it all figured out. But I do know I am very concerned with all we’re putting into hanging out here. We’ve got to remember this world sucks. It is broken. It’s got death walking all over it. We were never intended to be here for the long haul.
We’re just passing through.
For me to live is Christ and to die is gain Phillipians 1:21