It seems the consensus of the masses is that life is to be had at any cost, and that death is The Very Worst Thing. Angry quotes are captured, “It didn’t have to happen. This tragedy could have been prevented!” Articles begin, “Want to live longer? Of course! We all do!” then go on to outline what steps we can take to extend our time on Earth.
Maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t want to live longer. I want to bring glory to God while I’m here, and to take care of myself so that my years here are as productive and as healthy as possible; but I don’t want to spend any more time in this life than what God has planned for me, and I’m looking forward to spending Eternity with Him.
Philippians 1.21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain
I won’t disagree that death is a sad thing for those left on Earth. Even Jesus wept when His friend, Lazarus, died. I believe He wept because of the sadness around Him, because people didn’t see from His perspective.
Of course we miss those who have died. We may feel anguish because of the way someone died, and what we all went through in the process. We may wail at deep regret after someone is gone. We may shed bittersweet tears at the soft memories of someone gone on. We may wish that a loved one could have met someone who is no longer with us. We don’t understand death. How could we? We’ve never experienced it. No one can come back and tell us what it’s like.
What’s more, we can’t control death. We can commit murder – ourselves or another – but it is God Who decides time of death, just as He decides time of life.
Look at Moses. Although he was a man of God who slipped up sometimes, he followed hard after his God, loved Him with all his heart. And yet, God did not allow Moses to enter the Promised Land – the land that Moses had been waiting 40+ years to enter, the promise to which he’d led these stiff-necked Israelites! God allowed Moses to look upon the Promised Land, then took him to his heavenly home. Do you think Moses was bitter when God told him he couldn’t enter? I don’t. I think death was a blessing for Moses, and he knew it. He knew God doesn’t slap someone on the hand and petulantly cry, “You can’t do that because you disobeyed me!” It was simply a consequence and a blessing – and an answer to prayer. How many times had Moses begged the Lord to take him?
Death is a transition from temporal reality to eternity. Some will spend eternity in hell; others, like Moses, will live forever with God, our Savior.
No, I believe death is not the worst thing. Some people know there are things worse than death. For some, life is worse than death: a life of abuse, a life that has been taught (and believes) lies about worth and mercy and love and tenderloving care, a life that feels alone and tossed out and uncared for, a life that seems wasted. For those we pray God’s redeeming love be poured out without measure, full and overflowing.
Mt 10.28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Psalm 90.15: Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.
We are left with however many days God gives us here on Earth. They’re for His glory. What’s important is HOW we spend our days:
Psalm 90.12, 14: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.