I was talking with someone today about life and death. I asked why dying has to be so hard. God is in charge of death and life and I find it ironic that both are so hard.
Labor, bringing someone into the world is a process that begins before the pains begin. As the mother's body prepares to deliver the baby a series of changes take place to ready her body to deliver so that by the time the actual labor begins the stage has been set.
The active labor part is hard, and it is painful, and in most cases it is a long and drawn out affair. These days it does not usually go over 24 hours before they take the baby via C-section, but in the old days women could labor for days in some cases. (yikes)
I am seeing that leaving this world is the same sort of process. I have watched my mom prepare to physically die for months now, a little each week. The closer we have gotten to the end the more changes have taken place in her body to the point where she is now sleeping all the time.
In many ways, this sleeping is such a blessing. She is not in pain or misery, she is just waiting for her internal clock to stop. She has mostly lost all interest in food and water and while the idea of death frightens her it is happening anyway. But most others experience a lot of pain and agony leaving this world.
Labor was described to me as a ride you cannot get off of until it is finished, and death is the same way. Scripture says, it is appointed to us to die (Heb.9:27) once. Those who know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior will only experience this bitter process once and when they have left this world they will enter the presence of the Lord Almighty never to die again.
At 5:00 AM mom asked me if she was going to die today. She expressed her desire to get well and live longer. It is a hard thing to have to say that it does not look like a part of God's plan that she stay with us much longer. She reaffirmed her faith in Jesus as the only way and was comforted by the truth of Romans 10:9:
"that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved"
I have no way of knowing when He will come for her, but I think it is close. I pray that she sees Him coming with her angelic escort and is warmly ushered into His kingdom.
But until then, the tearing away from the world is difficult. We seem to fight every step of the way going to where we truly belong. This is mysterious to me. As I have not yet experienced it myself I know I don't fully understand the emotions and fears of the process. It is somewhat of a shame that God does not allow us to peek beyond that curtain into eternity for I think it would make this much easier. It is once again by faith alone. Believing in the certainty of what we cannot see... more food for thought...