By Jerry Ousley
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to die? I think most of us have. There have been times when it seemed attractive, especially as a Christian knowing that we have the promise of eternal life in Heaven with our Lord. Of course, the aspect of dying, slipping away into the unknown is scary too. We really don’t have a good detailed description of what dying is like. We’ve seen people die in pain and agony. Over the centuries men have devised very cruel and torturous methods of draining the life out of a person. That doesn’t sound attractive. Me, I would much rather go peacefully in my sleep.
Over the years I’ve talked a lot about my grandmother. She was a dear saint of God and a prayer warrior if there ever was one. That little lady had no qualms about talking to someone about the Lord and she could tell you point blank what was wrong in your life and what you needed to work on. She was also one of the most kind and generous persons I’ve ever known.
With everything in her she wanted to go to Heaven. She’d talk about it, and folks you could see the gleam in her eye as she did. There was no doubt this woman wanted to spend eternity with Jesus.
But she had her own form of a fear of death as well. That showed that she was human because we all have a dread within us. It’s the uncertainty of what it will be like. Will we suffer? Will it hurt? Only those who have gone through it and are now dwelling on the other side know for sure. There are those who have had a death experience of one kind or another. They’ve described their own experience. But somehow it isn’t enough. I believe our crossing from the natural into the spiritual will be a unique journey for each of us. So the uncertainty continues and looms before us.
I remember when my Grandmother did finally cross over. Viewing her as she lay in her beautiful coffin, she looked so peaceful. I missed her. She had been such an inspiration to me not only in life but in my ministry. I longed to hug her neck one more time. I remembered how that Jesus had raised the dead. I thought specifically about Lazarus. My mind drifted to the scripture and how Jesus had told us that if we believe all things are possible. If I had enough faith I could speak the word and bring her back.
Then I remembered how much she had wanted to go to Heaven. Her only dread was now in the past. She was where she wanted to be and I thought, “Even if I did have enough faith and had the courage to stand here in front of all these people and command that she be raised up, when she sat up she’d beat me within an inch of my life for bringing her from the bliss of Heaven back into this old world!” I left it at that.
In Philippians 1:21 Paul faced this same scenario. I believe he longed for Heaven. He had been through so much the beatings, the long cold nights in jail and prison; the rejection from those to whom he had preached, and the strife among the brethren. Heaven looked appealing to him. He wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” He realized a fact that is a very important attitude we need to have in order to be a successful Christian. All of us as believers need to come into the knowledge that as long as we live we must put Christ first. We must exemplify Him in our daily lives and ever be that witness that cries out
“He is the Lord of salvation!”
But we also need to long for Heaven. We need to desire to be with Jesus. We need to come to know that this life is only temporary and when it’s done we will be ushered in to glory. When we realize this I mean really come to know it then we have arrived at the place that regardless what happens we have won. As long as we live we live for Christ, and when we die we accomplish the greatest gain possible for man. With an attitude like that we can’t help but be successful!
Jerry D. Ousley is the Author of five books, “Soul Challenge”, “Soul Journey” “Ordeal” “The Spirit Bread Daily Devotional” and his first novel “The Shoe Tree.” Find out more by visiting www.spiritbread.com
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