Concerning Death

All quotes are from “Concerning Death” by Charles Spurgeon

What are the times when men are able to speak of death quietly and happily?  Sometimes they do so in periods of great bodily suffering.  I have on several occasions felt everything like fear of dying taken from me simply by the process of weariness, for I could not wish to lie any longer in such pain as I then endured, and I have no doubt that such an experience is common among sufferers from acute disorders.  The sons and daughters of affliction are not only trained to await the Lord’s will, but they are even driven to desire to depart; they would sooner rest from so stern a struggle than continue the fierce conflict.  It is well that pain and anguish should cut the ropes which moor us to these earthly shores that we may spread our sails for a voyage to the Better Land.  Oh, what a place heaven must be to those whose bones have worn through their skin through long lying upon the bed of anguish!

When I entered into my period of great physical suffering, a friend told me that she was able to experience peace in her suffering when she accepted the possibility of her own death. Even though I was a believer, this thought frightened me at the time… but I kept it in the back of my mind.

As my episodes of physical pain came fiercely and frequently, I became worn from unending hours of suffering. I started to find that by the third day of each migraine, I felt limp, barely able to lift my hand to accept a glass of water from a loving daughter.  I wondered when the pain would stop, and the only answer I knew to be true was that it will end completely when I am in heaven (Rev. 21:4).

I found a respite from my awareness of the pain when I imagined what heaven will be like.  I pictured myself pain-free and easy-moving in the presence of the only One capable of providing such pleasure… peace.

To labor through a blessed day, and then, at nightfall to go home and to receive the wages of grace – is there anything dark and dismal about that?  God forgive you that you even thought so!  If you are the Lord’s own child, I invite you to look this home-going in the face until you change your thought and see no more in it gloom and dread, but a very heaven of hope and glory.

The peace regarding the reality of my own eventual death stays with me now.  I no longer fear the thought of it. However, I find myself, at times, actually yearning for it and wondering if this thought is sinful.  After all, God knows the number of my days (Psalm 139:16; Job 14:5) and what He has planned for me while I’m here on this earth (Jer. 29:11).  Who am I to want something different than His will?

It is the part of a brave man, and especially of a believing man, neither to dread death nor to sigh for it, neither to fear it nor to court it.  In patience possessing his soul, he should not despair of life when harshly pressed, and he should be always more eager to run his race well than to reach its end.

It is ironic that I, now, sometimes want what I had feared a few years ago. However, what I want more is for God’s will to be done. I wouldn’t still be here if there wasn’t something that He has for me to do. Therefore, I pray each morning before leaving my bed, “Lord, please help me to be able to do what You have for me to do today. Help me to not be afraid of or bitter about any difficulties that may attempt to hinder me in this race You have for me. Thank You for helping me to know that You will provide for all my needs according to Your glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19). In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Beneath the shadow of Jehovah’s wing we need not be afraid for the terror by night, or for the arrow that flies by day, nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness.  We are immortal till our work is done.  Be you therefore quiet in the day of evil, rest you peaceful in the day of destruction; all things are ordered by wisdom and precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.

O Lord, when the hour comes for me to go to bed, I know that You will take me there, and speak lovingly into my ear, therefore I cannot fear, but will even look forward to that hour of Your manifested love.

3 thoughts on “Concerning Death

  1. This really speaks to me, Kim. Since losing a son recently to cancer, I think of dying in a completely different way. I long for a reunion in heaven. Until then, we do His work here on earth, yet I am not afraid of it. Enjoyed the Spurgen quotes♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. The trials we experience in this fallen world do seem to urge us to consider what heaven will be like – no sin, no pain, no tears… reunion with loved ones… the presence of God in a way that we can only imagine now. I’m so glad that we have Scripture and access to God through prayer now though. He also knows how helpful it is to have fellowship with other believers!

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