Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. John 15:13
Those who have read my articles for a while now know that I’ve been very close to dying three times; double bypass, gangrene in my gall bladder, and a bad drug reaction that should have caused renal failure but miraculously didn’t.
There was another time I sort of died that I haven’t thought of in years. I was in college, asleep in my dorm room. I dreamt I was dying. I was lying in my grandmother’s bed in her bedroom. There was a pastor, my mom, and maybe a few others. I was comatose, but I could still hear. That, by the way, is medically possible and documented. I’ll have to tell you another story sometime.
The pastor was saying the Lord’s prayer. When he finished he said something about how it didn’t look like I was going to make it. My mom admonished him, saying that I could possibly hear him.
As they continued to talk, I felt myself dying. It was like sinking down into blackness, and all awareness, what little I had, started fading.
Now, in a dream, this is the point where we wake up, right? Similar dreams are, for example, falling off a building, but we wake with a jolt just before we hit the ground. We NEVER die in a dream, right? We get right up to that moment, then something inside us wakes us up before that happens.
Well, my wake up thingy wasn’t working that night. I “experienced” dying in that dream. It was so real, so thorough that only after a time of nothingness I began to realize that I still existed. I was terrified! I truly thought I was dead. As I became more and more aware, I realized I could open my eyes, but the terror told me I didn’t want to see wherever I was.
Finally, through sheer will, I snapped my eyes open and saw…the ceiling of my dorm room. There was the closet unit at the foot of my bed. The door to the hall. I was drenched in sweat, and was a moment realizing what had really happened. I had never been so shocked to wake up in my bed.
Maybe real death will be something like that. Who knows? But here’s the thing; when we die from this body, yet in Christ’s healing embrace, we will have that moment to choose to open our eyes. Before we do, we’ll smell the most incredible smells. We’ll hear the flowers singing. We will feel more alive than we ever could have imagined.
There will be no hesitation.
Our eyes will snap open and behold paradise and Jesus welcoming us home to the mansions He has prepared for us. We will awaken to a love purer and stronger than we have ever known, the Love that took all of the death we were destined for, swallowed it whole, and destroyed it.
I pray that you know Christ.
I pray that if you do not, you make the effort to get to know Him. Pray with all your heart for the one thing that will fill the emptiness you feel, that you hide from everyone you know. God already knows about it. Jesus already died, defeated death, and rose again to be that one thing that can fill your emptiness.
Jesus Himself promised that those who seek Him will find Him:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8