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Living In The Land Of The Dying

For most of my life, I rarely thought about death or dying. They were abstract concepts reserved for the aged. Now, in my mid-forties, I find myself dealing with aches, pains, frequent doctors’ appointments, and medical issues within my own friends group; I can’t deny the reality that I am living in the land of the dying.

Most people don’t want to think about dying or death. But the fact is that we live in the land of the dying because sin entered the world and has impacted every one of us (Genesis 3:1-24). This reality makes life precious, fleeting, and temporary.

Even though death and dying are certain, they still remain taboo subjects. They are considered too morose, dark, and negative for polite society. Yet we see all throughout the scriptures that the idea of eternity has been placed on our hearts.

Solomon says this, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

Solomon doesn’t make any further reference, nor does he try to explain eternity. Probably because he can’t! And neither can we! We know it exists, but our finite minds cannot fully grasp the concept, the reality of living for eternity or dwelling in infinity, where there is no time or space.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but death is coming for us all. Were it not for the promises in the scriptures, we would all be panicking at the prospect of simply dying and returning to dust. As my friend Marvin Martin once said, “For those who believe this is all there is, this is the Land of Life as we move toward Death. But for followers of Jesus, this is the Land of Death moving toward Eternal Life.

At age ninety-six, just months before Marvin Martin passed away, he shared this thought with family and friends:

For me there is a great sense of Expectancy and Eternal Hope that far outweighs the
beauty of this world and the temporary separation from the people I cherish and love.
What lies ahead is so much grander and more meaningful and beautiful than my small
finite mind can even grasp, that I am in awe. To spend Eternity in the Presence of God
and the presence of all the people I love is simply overwhelming. Far beyond my ability
to comprehend or even imagine!

I know now there is a “time for everything” and “everything is beautiful in its time”. But I
also believe with all my heart and being that there is also an Eternity; and when Time
here is over, a perfect Eternity with the Lord and all the Saints will go on forever. The
beauty of this world will pale in comparison to what lies ahead, for those who are
willing to die to themselves in this world and receive Jesus as the King of the Kingdom
of God. Because of all this I am more excited about the future than I have ever been in
all my life!

How often do you think about your coming eternity? As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, it is possible to grow more and more confident of what is to come after death. I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:13-14).