This week Carl Trueman wrote an excellent article called “Deaths Delayed” about how the growth of COVID-19 forces people to think about death, and Christians can view death with hope.
Here is my favorite quote from the article
“And one thing seems obvious: The levels of general panic indicate that few of us have been properly prepared for the reality of our own mortality.”
As a missionary I’ve had lots of conversations recently with people who hardly ever think about dying, but watching the news awakens them to just how fragile life is. Thankfully this opens up doors to share the Gospel, but many still cling to their own righteousness, and aren’t prepared for death.
These kinds of conversations remind me of dear saints who we would visit on Sunday afternoons. Christians who were close to the end of life, but viewed it with hope.
There are many stories I could tell…but let me share the one thats most meaningful to me.
Over a year ago we went to visit a woman in her eighties who was in her last days. She was laying in the bed with her head turned towards the wall with very little strength. We sang some songs, and then I shared a devotional thought about Heaven.
When I began talking about Heaven she started to get excited and turning over in the bed to face us grabbed my hand in hers. Though I cannot remember her exact words today she said something along the lines of “yes come Jesus.”
a few weeks later she was gone…..
I’ve thought often of that saint in the days since and how she viewed with death with expectation because it brought her to Heaven.
Of course it should never be true that a Christian would want to die. However, it should always be true that a Christian is ready to die.
Being ready to die isn’t a morbid desire for suicide, but an understanding death brings us into Christ’s eternal presence (2 Corinthians 5:8).
While in my personal opinion God is using the caronavirus to get mankind’s attention, it also gives an amazing opportunity for a Christian witness. As the world does everything it can to escape death (that cannot be escaped anyway) we approach our final days with hope and gladness knowing “grave has no victory, and death has no sting.”