“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.”
Psalm 116:15 (NIV)
As far as I can observe all of us are programmed to resist the experiences of death and dying.
Every normal person fights to live as long as possible. In certain circumstances that battle keeps the person alive for weeks or months after the doctor said the patient should have died. So it is perfectly normal for all of us to put off the inevitable experience of dying as long as possible.
However, for the Christian there is another side to this feared activity of dying. We are taught in Scripture that it is far better to die and be with the Lord than to go on living in this weary old world.
Philippians 1:21-23 (NIV)
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me.
Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!
I am torn between the two:
I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far…”
When the apostle Paul thought about the alternatives of living here and doing “fruitful labor” and dying and being with the Lord he had a great conflict in his mind. Living here meant he would do good for the churches. However for his own sake he would rather die so he would immediately enter heaven and experience all the wonders and glories of God’s eternal kingdom.
This is the truth that calms the troubled hearts of those who mourn. Dying as a believer is a wonderful blessing to the one who leaves us for heaven. Once there they would never wish to return to this life.
Perhaps you lost a loved one last year. Seek to find comfort in this idea that your sorrow is for yourself and the difficulty of going on without your loved one. Such sorrow is right and proper. However, try to spend some time thinking of the wonderful greeting your loved one received from our heavenly Father when they arrived safe in heaven. The Lord gives all His “faithful servants” a happy welcome home because their death is precious in His sight. That is the good thing about dying.