In my last post, we left off with John laying in his hospital bed, joy on his face, even though he knew he didn’t have long to live.
I’ve seen that joy before. It occurs when a person is a follower of Jesus, and they know it. It happens when there is no doubt in their mind about their salvation. It happens when they realize for the first time they are terminal and that they will die. At that moment a follower of Jesus is released from this world emotionally. Suddenly, they look past their struggles and difficulties. Stress fades away. There is a moment where they know that it is over, and in that moment, there is release. In that moment, there is freedom. The struggle is finally gone, and in the place of struggle is pure joy, freedom, and peace.
That is the moment John experienced in the intensive care room. It was a beautiful thing to see.
There will come a time when you will know that you are dying. Perhaps a few will escape with a sudden and unexpected death. Unfortunately, the reality is that for most of us, dying will be a slow and even perhaps painful process. There will be a period where we are alive and acutely aware of the fact that death lurks just around the corner.
Contemplate that place for a moment. Imagine that moment of release from life’s issues, problems, and struggles. Put yourself in that place. What does it look like? Can you see the nurses walking by your hospital room? Does it smell like a nursing home? Are you peacefully falling from consciousness in your own bed? Can you feel the stares of everyone around you as they wait for you to let go? Most importantly, in that moment, will you be perfectly content with the way you spent your life?
What we both know will be true of that moment is that you cannot go back and relive your life. I can tell you that if your life is about seeking worldly things such as power, wealth, status, and the like, you will be heartbroken. If you invested your life in others, such as family and friends, it will be better.
However, to fully be content with passing on, you must have dedicated your life to the process of growing in relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This is the process of spiritual growth. It is now that you have the opportunity to make growing in relationship with God the priority in your life. After all, in the end, according to Solomon, everything else is meaningless. This is because in the end all things in this world simply pass away and don’t matter.
Let’s commit to making spiritual growth a focus of our lives so when our last days on earth arrive…we meet them with joy as John did…