There will be a time for every one of us to leave this world and go to the next, but as believers in Jesus God has a plan for when that time will be. The Apostle understood this and spoke about it in Philippians 1 where he affirms that living or dying are both a win for the believer.
He puts it this way, “to live is Christ but to die is gain”. I like the Living Bible’s rendering of this: “For to me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying -well, that’s better yet!”
For most of us there will be days ahead for us to live our lives that hopefully glorify God and allow us to use our gifts and talents to make this a better world.
Personally, my mind goes back to 2002 when I came really close to leaving this world. I had accepted a call to come into the Savannah area and plant a new church a year earlier and was meeting at a motel conference room for worship with a hand full of parishioners. On a particular Sunday we were having our last service in that place and planning on meeting in a new place in Richmond Hill that next week.
I went home after church with severe pains in my chest and went straight to bed. I thought it must be a pulled muscle or pleurisy or severe heartburn but never guessed that it was a heart attack.
Things got worse into the morning hours until finally I went to an urgent care center where an EKG was taken not showing much. Because of the severe pain I was sent to a cardiologist who took me straight in and did an ultrasound which showed I had a major blockage in my main artery; only drips of blood were getting through. I was rushed to the hospital to get it open and a stint put in. The surgeon told me on the operating table, “Mr. Lane, you are one fortunate man because if you would have waited for a couple more hours there is nothing anyone could have done to save your life”.
Actually, my cardiologist told me during my next visit that when he saw the ultrasound results, he expected me to die right there in his office but of course he was not going to tell me that then. The truth is that I made a quick recovery from the damage from the heart attack and continually get good reports.
The truth of the matter is that the Lord was not finished with me yet. The days I have remaining I want to live out a life fully surrendered to God’s will and I want Him to use me to expand His kingdom.
The key here is not when we leave but if we are ready to meet our maker. If you are not, there is good news, you can be