He promises to take the sting out of death
Published 11:00 pm Friday, September 29, 2023
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: As a doctor, I’m faced with death daily as I care for dying patients. Many who have strong spiritual faith seem to deal with the end of life differently from others who live their last days in fear. Why is this? – D.P.
Dear D.P.: Last statements of dying men and women provide an excellent study for those who are looking for realism in the face of death. Some curse God and die; others who know Him as Savior and Lord say with the great Presbyterian minister John Knox, “Live in Christ, and the flesh need not fear death.” How different are the stories of Christians who confessed their sin and received Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord.
The story of Dr. Effie Jane Wheeler, who taught English and literature at Wheaton College, is remarkable. Two weeks before she died, she wrote a letter to the president of the college that was read to the faculty and student body. It said:
“I should like to have you know the truth about me as I learned it myself only last Friday. My doctor at last has given what has been his real diagnosis of my illness for weeks – an inoperable case of cancer. Now if he had been a Christian he wouldn’t have been so dilatory or shaken, for he would have known, as you and I do, that life or death is equally welcome when we live in the will and presence of the Lord. If the Lord has chosen me to go to Him soon, I go gladly. Please do not give a moment’s grief for me. I do not say a cold goodbye but rather a warm expression of farewell ‘till I see you again’ – in the blessed land [of Heaven].”
What an example of God’s power in the Christian’s life. He keeps His promise to take the sting out of death (see 1 Corinthians 15:55).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)