Summary: No matter how much “faith” a person believes they possess, or how much and how often they “name and claim” healing, there is one disease that has absolutely NO cure in this life.
No matter how much “faith” a person believes they possess, or how much and how often they “name and claim” healing, there is one disease that has absolutely NO cure in this life – DEATH! It is a brutal enemy of all humanity. It is ugly. It smells. It hurts. It tears at the heart like a ravenous beast. It has no remorse, no regrets, and no mercy. It is the final hurrah for the devil – his greatest victory against God’s most magnificent creation - and it was never intended for human beings.
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” (1 Cor 15:26-27 NIV)
I was by the side of my wife during the final days and moments of her life. Watching her die was far beyond words to describe the anguish I experienced - and it was absolutely the hardest thing I have ever done. I will NEVER get over it.
Her life was plagued by chronic illness and debilitating pain that ended only a couple of hours before she took her last breath. I have diligently tried to understand and reconcile the love of God in contrast to her suffering over the years. I have found NO legitimate answers. I have been consoled by others - who I am sure were well-intentioned - but they could offer only hollow spiritual platitudes – which I think were said more out of their fear of facing the very issues I have had to confront for decades rather than from a deeply personal and experientially emotional understanding.
My wife lived to share the love of God with others. Throughout her life, she prayed with many to receive the gift of salvation – and she continued up to her final days. I was sort of hoping that she would pass over at 3:16 pm as a kind of prophetic soul winning climax to her life. However, it was precisely at 4:44 pm, February 24 she finally graduated from this world into the next. February 24 that year was the day of Purim on the Jewish calendar, which is a joyous celebration of deliverance from destruction. The number 4 in the Bible represents the earth. It is where we came from, where we live, and where we return when we die.
“By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return." (Gen 3:19 NLT)
I did a lot of contemplation in those final days and hours spent with her. I wish I could say that her death had the glow of glory shinning in the room as the sound of Angels singing could be heard in the background while doves flew in to carry her away to her heavenly home. That was truly not the case - it was quite to the contrary.
In the midst of all this agony, gut-wrenching grief and despair that rolled over me like a Tsunami, I found myself being forced to confront another one of the many paradoxical mysteries of Christianity.
As I watched the pain and suffering this world offers brutally inflict itself upon the one whom I loved explicitly for more than three decades, I simultaneously experienced Love Himself – holding, comforting - and as He has always done - filling me with the wondrous peaceful beauty of His limitless love that is beyond human comprehension and understanding.
I am continuously - and forever - amazed by Jesus, and even now, after all this pain, I am more desperately in love with Him. I will forever be fascinated with His beauty. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I do know that Jesus will hold me in His everlasting arms of love and I have nothing to worry about and absolutely NOTHING to fear.
“This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (2 Tim 1:9-11 NIV)
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11-12 NIV)
The Author of Death
God had nothing to do with the suffering and pain my wife endured throughout her life. Nor is He the author of death. It was not God’s will – nor was it ever His intention for any human to suffer the pain of death. The Father is a good God.
Death comes when the body ceases to function - the heart stops, and life ends. All organic life ultimately dies. Yet, death is not the cessation of existence (See Dan 12:2-3, John 5:24-30, Phil 1:21-24, Rev 20:11-15).