Pristine Grace

Life 101
by Tim James
Life 101

    I am often called upon to sit at the bedside of folks who are about to die.  Over the years I have become convinced that, on a purely natural level, dying people know how to live.  I have yet to hear someone who is facing eternity say, “I wish I had bought a bigger house,” or “I regret not devoting more time to my career.”  Instead, I have often heard plaintive groans such as, “I wish that I had been a better husband or wife,” or “If only I had spent more time with my kids,” or “Why did I waste so much time and energy on bitter grudges?”  I have also noticed that those who attend a dying relative or friend quickly let go, if only for a short time, the petty differences on which they have expended precious energy.

    These natural lessons are of great spiritual value.  We are told in Scripture that we are dying.  In our youth, we know this in our heads.  As the years go by, we not only know it in our heads, but also feel it in our bones ... yet I am not convinced that we really believe it in our hearts.

    If we knew that we would not see tomorrow, which, by the way, we are not promised, what manner of folk might we be?  How precious would one more gathering of the saints to worship be!  How hungry would we be to hear the glorious Gospel of Sovereign Grace just once more!  How easy it would be to say “I’m sorry,” or “Please forgive me!”  How necessary would it be to embrace our loved ones, dandle our children on our knees!  How ready would we be to receive kindness, mercy, even pity!

    David said in Psalm 39:4, “Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.”  Moses said in Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”

    Death is a great university, and the lessons learned there are of inestimable worth.

    DEATH is LIFE 101.