Crossways Concepts

Because it is all about the cross...

Insights from the scripture as lead by the Holy Spirit

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An Inspirational Death

This week I am amazed at my wonderful experience concerning the passing of a friend.  I do not mean to imply that I was happy to see this guy die, but through his passing I was able to see My God for who He really is.

Mike has been struggling with a nasty cancer for months.  The doctors had little question about how this was going to end.  His death was just a matter of time.

Mike and his wife are truly sweet people.  During Mike's illness, his wife had been relying on my wife for prayer support.  She would call my wife each time she needed a boost to get her through the day.  My wife would pray for her, usually over the phone, and the Lord would faithfully provide the required strength and encouragement.

Because of this relationship, we received a call when the doctors identified that Mike would be passing within a few days.  We went to the hospital expecting a simple visit with Mike and his wife.  We really didn't have any idea that we were going to be incredibly encouraged the the Lord.

Over the last couple of years, I have seen a lot of people die, but none of these prepared me for Mike.  The recent deaths have been many beloved members of my family where I can only hope that they were destined for heaven.  In none of those cases was I positive of their destination.

When we walked into that hospital room and saw Mike, there were several things that caught our attention.  We saw him in his bed without the tubes and wires that usually typify the dying inpatient.  When Mike saw us, he greeted us with a smile and words expressing his pleasure at seeing us.  We were astonished by how good he looked and how alert he was.  Aside from the hospital bed and a little swelling, he didn't even appear sick.

We soon realized that Mike had total and complete peace with his own death.  There was no fear or anxiety.  He was ready to go.  Indeed, he was eager to go.

My disbelieving mind said, “His calmness is drug-induced” or, “He must not know he is about to die.”, but he quickly poked holes in these theories.  Plain and simple, this was a wonderful work of the Almighty God.

What did I feel as I left the hospital that day?  As crazy as it sounds, I was jealous.  Mike was soon going to be with Jesus.  Mike served as the best advertisement for heaven I have ever seen.  He wasn't talking about heaven or God, but he didn't have to.  The peace and excited anticipation that were flowing from his being were more powerful than any words he might ever have spoken.

While we will certainly miss Mike, the statement, “he has gone to a better place” does not seem like empty words.  It is a simple statement of fact like, “the sky is blue”, except with a lot of incredible joy.

We are told that Jesus will, “free those who are held in slavery all their lives by a fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:15).  I have never seen this more clearly than in this hospital room about 36 hours before a man named Mike passed from this world to go home to Jesus.

What was Mike looking forward to?

Then I heard a loud voice from the throne:

Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity,
and He will live with them.
They will be His people,
and God Himself will be with them
and be their God.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
Death will no longer exist;
grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer,
because the previous things have passed away.
(Revelation 21:3-4)

It is indeed something to look forward to!

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