Saturday, December 17, 2022
What is dying? No more than just being gone from sight for but a few in the time of God. We are not really gone in the sight of God…we are where we should be, and we will be seen again. Our journey has just begun. Life might seem long here on earth, but it isn’t much of anything compared to eternity. We leave this world and go home. Our journey begins with the last breath we take here. The older one gets in this life with all its aches and pains…heaven sounds real good, doesn’t it?
There are some people down to the last little bit of life (sickness etc.) and they know their time is close. Do they want to talk about God? Heaven? What happens? Will you listen? That just might be the most important conversation you ever have with them. We might only have one opportunity to listen.
Story: I was a chaplain at a hospital. The one it was doesn’t matter it happens in a lot of places. I would go into people’s rooms to see if they wanted to talk about anything. I knew some were in horrible ways and I wanted to let them talk about whatever was on their mind. Some wanted to, others all but chased me out of the room, but some who thought they were saved acted the worst. I didn’t want anything from anyone but to be there to let them talk and get things out. Whatever they would have told me good or bad I could not share with another person. I gave people the opportunity to just talk about what others didn’t want to hear/death. Relatives don’t usually want to talk with their loved ones about their imminent death. I also was told (by a chaplain supervisor) that unless they called me into the room personally…don’t go, and don’t offer any hope or anything else. Yet, in my heart, I knew that many would never have another chance to tell God how they felt or to share something they needed to get off their chest. I could not work there. In my heart, I knew I had to give them the choice to talk or not talk. If they said they didn’t want to talk to me…okay, but if they said yes then they should have the chance to talk. To some that might have been the only time at their end, they got the chance. I also had people who wanted to stay in the room instead of leaving for a few so the person could talk honestly. I also had people do the answering for the person. I’m sorry, it made me want to yank them out of the room and say this person needs to talk and they don’t need you to do it for them. But…I refrained from that. Maybe I should have said something. Most of whom this happened to didn’t go ahead and share much of anything. Their one opportunity is gone. How sad.
You do realize you live in a temporary body here on earth. It starts out as a newborn baby, and then it begins to die. Some deaths come early in life, while others take a long time (in man’s view of time). Now although this is a temporary body it is, for now, the only one we have and we need to care for it. It was a gift from God for the time being. Some love their body while others might hate how they look or feel…but know this is only temporary. Bodies age in time. I find that life is great in one way here. Those people who thought they were so beautiful and handsome are also going to get old, gray, and wrinkled for that is what life is. How many people have you known or seen in your life people who thought they were “all that”, then it happened they got old, or they lost all the things that they thought made them important to themselves?
I used to go to the cemetery a lot more than I get to go now to visit my son’s grave there. He is not there. His remains are there sure, but he isn’t there. However, it still gave me peace of mind to go and visit his grave…but I know and knew that one day I’d see him again. Another reason is we moved away from where he was buried so we don’t get to go there as often. You go, you pray, you clean up the grave, you sit and contemplate life and death and tell them how much you love and miss them. It makes us feel better, doesn’t it? I will forever miss my son. I know he is not in that grave, but it is the place I can go and just sit and talk to him. He doesn’t feel better for me going…I do! But I can also go or be anywhere and talk to him, yet I know he isn’t sitting there listening…however, it always makes me feel better.
I can’t speak ever for anyone but myself. I don’t want to leave this world because I love my family dearly. I want to see how their life goes and be there for them however I can. But the thing is the time will come when God says it is time to go. Will any of my family miss me? Will they go to my grave and sit and talk to me even if I can’t hear it? Will they stay on track with Jesus? Whom will they call if they want to talk to me? Will they have listened to anything I ever said in giving advice to them? Will they now understand that when I wanted to know what and who they were with… it wasn’t to pry…it was because I loved them and wanted to know where they were in case anything were to happen. Anyways you get this right? So as much as I want to stay for those I love the time will come when I can’t stay any longer. I just pray that each and every member of my family knows how much I love them.
Story: Kind of grim I guess but I need to put it here. When my son was killed and we went to the mortuary to make arrangements the people, I’m sure tried to ease our pain, but it didn’t long term. You see, we were told that if we put this whatever it was called over the body that it would preserve the body. Our hearts were beyond grief and they said that because we loved our son…we paid that amount to cover his body in the casket or on top of the casket at a great expense. Preserve him for or from what? He was not alive in that casket, and never would be. Preserve him for what? Maybe his body didn’t decay as fast, but it would decay anyway. This always bothered me because people take advantage of people in the greatest pain they ever go through. So, as grim as this sounds right now, maybe it will save someone else from doing this. The remains will decay even if you pay that fee. You are not going to be opening the casket to check.
I did say somewhere in one of the two prior parts about my son coming to me after he died and he said,
Mom, it’s okay, I am just sleeping“ I don’t know if that would give you comfort, but it did me. Yes, his spirit is somehow with the Lord and I totally understand that, but until we all meet…this gave is what we have to go visit our loved ones, and it gives comfort. The body might sleep, but the spirit is with the Lord and that is a wonderful thing.
As I look at death I see death as but temporary. I shut my eyes here and my spirit is awakened with the Lord. No matter what kind of thing is happening then I know my soul is safe in heaven. If it awaits reunion with the body one day…so be it, but even that we get a new body and I am sure I’m all for that one. One with no pain or sorrow.
‘“Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God” . . . As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit”. Stephen didn’t say receive my body. His body was still here on earth. It would still turn to dust over time, but the spirit would instantly be with the Lord in heaven however it was that God receives them. On the cross Jesus said, “Into your hands, I commit my spirit.” Jesus did not say the body. Our spirit is awaiting going to be with the Lord when our time comes. I’ll let God take care of the body. I don’t want to leave because, as I said, I love my family, but the time will come when it happens. No matter where God places us temporarily I trust my God. I await His return to earth to call us all up to where we will always be with Him, again, in whatever form it is we get. I also understand that, at some point in God’s timing, whatever/wherever my state might be…my body (or a body) and my spirit will come together. As we go through life, we know we have a spirit…but when you die you don’t see that spirit it just goes. I heard a story from a hospital that weighed the person before death and right after and it was .74 oz lighter. It was like 21 grams lighter. That is what they say a spirit seems to weigh. I have no idea but it does leave the body after death. Yet, no one sees this spirit it is just there while we are breathing and leaves our body when we take our last breath. Think on this for a moment. We have a body before death and that body has a spirit living in it. The instant we take our last breath that spirit leaves our body. As I said, I have been with people when they died and there was like a gurgling noise, and they were gone. It is the separation of body and spirit. The body stays and the spirit goes. Isn’t that amazing?
Now, may the God of creation bless you, keep you, draw you to Him, and provide for your needs while here on this earth. May you always find peace in Him who loved you and died in your place to give you salvation.
God bless you.