Death & Dying for The Christian

Since yesterday afternoon, I have been thinking nearly non-stop about a conversation I had with Laurie Crandall, whose husband Ron – my dear friend, brother & co-laborer in Christ – is in his final hours upon this earth. Ron has waged a valiant battle against a cancer that has ravaged his body, and in the end (through a vision he received), made the hope of heaven more real to him than he ever thought possible. Ron had been a great example to us all in the way that he lived and loved and worked and served, often quietly… but always faithfully. It seems that he saved the best for last, providing us all with an example of how a Christian – living by faith and being upheld by the Holy Spirit, faces death and dying.

But getting back to the conversation I had with Laurie, I again marveled at how the Lord used something as difficult as cancer and the battle that ensued to save Ron’s life to strip away everything she might have otherwise clung to, to find Him; to be aware of His presence and to hear His voice and to see His hand at work in an undeniable and nearly inexplicable way. Then this morning while doing my devos, I came across something that confirmed what I had been “musing” over since yesterday afternoon. I share it with you here with the hope it will speak to you as well ~ It began with Psalm 62:5, ‘My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my hope and my expectation is from Him.’ With this verse framing the thought, read on ~

“Blessed, then, is sickness or sorrow or any experience that compels us to stop; that takes the work out of our hands for a little season, that empties our hearts of their thousand cares, and turns them toward God to be taught of Him.

(he continues) “But why should we wait for sickness or sorrow to compel into our lives these necessary quiet and solitary times with the Lord? Would it not be far better for us to train ourselves to go apart each day for a little season from the noisy, busy and sometimes chilling world, to look into God’s face and into our own hearts… to learn the things we need so much to learn, and to draw secret strength and life from the fountain of life in God?

(he concludes) “With these sacred silent times in every day of toil and battle and struggle, we shall be always strong and ‘prepared for every good work’. Waiting thus upon God, we shall daily renew our wasted strength and be able to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint, and to mount up with wings as eagles in bold spiritual flights.” (J.R. Miller, 1886)

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