About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Death Of His Faithful Servants
was an experience I'll never forget. Yes,
it was sad. It was very sad,
but it was just as awesome as it was sad.
death of His faithful ones is valuable (precious in the NIV) in the Lord's
sight (Psalms 116:15 HCSB)." Why
in the name of Heaven does God view the death of His faithful servants as
being precious when we are so saddened and devastated by their passing?
was a Saturday evening when my wife, Dianne, and I had to drive two and a
half hours home. Dianne's
brother Bill had been in the hospital and close to death for several days.
We didn't know how many days he had left, so it wasn't an easy
decision to drive home that evening.
could not communicate with us but I'm convinced he could hear and
understand all we said to him. Not
wanting Bill to die alone I told him to tell Jesus that he was ready to
leave this life. I then
laid my hand on him and asked Jesus to take him, right then and there, and
He did. As I prayed one tear
slipped down his cheek. He
grasped for breath twice, and five seconds later Bill was on his way to
Heaven. It happened that
It was Thursday evening, June 7, 2001, at 8:50 PM when I told dad that we had to go home. Like Bill, he could not communicate with us but I'm convinced he could hear and understand us. It had been a busy number of weeks caring for dad as cancer was robbing him of his life. Then there was mom. She needed daily care after being stricken by a severe stroke in 1995. I was tired so I told dad to tell Jesus that he was ready to leave. I then laid my hand on dad in the hospital room and asked Jesus to take him, right then and there. Amazingly, like Bill, one solitary tear slipped down dad's cheek. That told me he understood what I was praying.
was a proud man. He'd do
anything for you but he had a hard time having you do something for him.
He had made it perfectly clear.
Long before cancer invaded his body he told us that when the time
comes his casket would be closed. No
one would stand gawking at his dead body in an open casket.
After praying that Jesus would take dad at 8:50 PM we left him and
arrived home at 9 PM to hear the phone ringing.
"Your father passed away within two minutes after you left
him," the nurse said. That
was typical dad. He wanted no
one gawking at his dead body and he would have no one see him die, not
even his son. He would wait
until we were gone and die on his own terms, and that he did.
5 seconds of asking Jesus to take Bill he was gone.
Within 5 minutes after asking Jesus to take dad, he was gone.
Was it sad? Of course
it was sad. The tears still
try to escape my eyes as I recall these events, but, helping Bill and dad
leave this planet for Heaven as Dianne I had the privilege to do was
beyond amazing. It was
is not final; not for the believer nor for the unbeliever.
It's the doorway into eternity.
For His faithful servants death is the entrance into the arms of
Jesus and those who have preceded them.
We may be sad to see those we love leave, but those we love are
undoubtedly overjoyed to enter into the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For this reason, the death of God's faithful servants is precious
in His sight.
Apostle Paul wanted nothing more than to be with Jesus.
Philippians 1:21 to 26 makes that clear.
The only reason why he wanted to hang around here on earth was to
help others find Jesus. That
was it. If not for his calling
as a faithful servant of the Lord, he'd rather be in Heaven.
I believe the moment a Roman sword sliced Paul's head from his
shoulders, although painfully devastating for those watching, was the
moment he longed for.
only our love for this life and this world that makes us reluctant to
leave for Heaven. The Apostle
John was right when he said that perfect love, and that includes our love
for Jesus, throws off all fear, even the fear of death (1 John 4:18).
When it's time for a faithful servant of the Lord to leave, let him
go. Encourage him into the
loving embrace of Jesus. There's
a time to be born and a time to die (Ecclesiastes 3:2). May
the Holy Spirit give us the discernment to know and understand the appropriate
times of the lives of God's faithful servants.