JESUS’ ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE DYING
In my Father’s house there are many mansions… I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself; so that where I am, you may be also.
~ John 14:2-3
The euthanasia proponents have built their case on the common-sense notion that humans should be allowed to ‘die with dignity‘; that assisted voluntary suicide is preferable to suffering from the effects of Alzheimer’s syndrome and pain!
This seems to me to be a bad choice in the face of Jesus’ promise that He Himself would come to take us home.
Despite pain, despite everything, we should wait for His coming. He knows the best time for us to leave the planet, and He knows the way to the place where we are going!
HAPPENINGS IN A FRAIL-CARE CENTRE
When you enter a frail-care centre, you have to knock to get in. Later, you find that you have to know the combination of the security lock to get out!
Patients are advised that this is for their own protection. “We can’t have you wandering about outside on your own, can we?” laughs a cheerful frail-care superintendent.
As you pass through the lounge, you notice that most people are sitting motionless in chairs. Some have their eyes shut. Others sit with their eyes open, staring at nothing in particular.
No one is watching the TV blaring in the background. There is no light in anybody’s eyes. These are the faces of the living dead.
Whether it is drugs, demons or natural causes that brings on the state of dementia is not certain.
Most people think that, if you are going to finish up like a zombie, it is a good thing that there are places where you will be well looked after.
Be assured, once you enter a frail care centre, even your excretory functions will be managed by well trained, competent and caring staff!
When the family visits their relative, they find them incoherent. This leads them to talk to the patient in a loud voice and whisper to each other.
When they leave, the grandchildren say, “We are never going to do that again. We want to remember grand-dad the way he was.”
The adults wish that they could do the same, but their sense of familial responsibility stops them from saying it aloud. They face the reality that, at least occasionally, they are going to have to visit a person who no longer recognises them.
As time passes, the patient’s body, kept active by a vast network of technological support, seems likely to survive forever while their mind and spirit drift in a sea of nothingness.
Suddenly, and strangely, some patients exhibit a stirring deep within. This becomes noticeable as an acute restlessness which flows out into the corridors and felt throughout the whole frail-care centre.
Experienced workers know the signs. It happens in every geriatric institution — that restlessness that heralds the death of yet another patient.
The struggle lasts for about three days.
Then, as suddenly as it comes, it ceases. There is silence and rest again throughout the centre.
The patient is found to be still present in body, mind and spirit, but in a few days they quietly slip away.
(My thanks to Jenny Hagger who first reported this phenomenon to me.)
This restlessness is nothing more than God taking possession of what belongs to Him — a human soul.
Some believers, being ignorant of the work of the Holy Spirit, do not know that individuals can know God, or as Paul reminds us, can be known by God. (Galatians 4:9)
They are unaware that Christ in us is the hope of Glory (Colossians 1:26-27); that by God’s grace, the human soul may be born again (John 3:3) — the Holy Spirit taking up residence in the human spirit in the koilia, i.e. the belly.* (John 7:38-39)
They were not taught that they may experience the Kingdom (government) of God at an intimate level by encouraging the Holy Spirit to flow through the veil*, to wash their emotions and renew their human mind (John 3:5, II Timothy 1:6, Titus 3:5).
It is to these dear ‘born again’ believers that the Holy Spirit comes in power in the frail-care centre. For God is not slow to save to the uttermost all those who have trusted in Him!
In the last extremity of life, the Lord exercises a divine prerogative — to take the soul to Himself.
There is a struggle. The human participant, being ignorant of God’s ways, finds the process
unnatural and frightening and is unwilling to give up their independence. But the battle is unequal — God wins!
Once the veil is broken, the Lord the Spirit is free to fill the soul with His love, joy and peace. For a few days, the dying patient experiences what God planned for them to experience over a lifetime — His eudaimonia, His shalom within.
The love affair continues until the patient is ready to fly away with the Bridegroom.
The task of carers of the dying is to steer their patient past the euthanasia alternative. When pain is strong, we are all capable of making bad ‘quick-fix’ choices.
Those around us need to hold us steady on the path of deliverance into the hands of the Master Carer. For He can not only save us from pain, but deliver us faultless before His Father‘s throne of Grace.
WHAT LIES AHEAD?
The government is to be applauded for helping people remain in their homes as their bodies wear out. That was the way we used to do it. When I was a boy, every home had a room set aside for the dying!
When things get really tough near the end, the palliative care fraternity are there to assist us. They do an outstanding job.
The enemy comes to steal, to kill and destroy. He will not be satisfied with voluntary euthanasia. Once that is universal, he will push for people to be put down who are costing the health system too much money.
Do not be alarmed! God is infinitely greater than the devil. He will not lose any that are sealed with the Holy Spirit and are His for eternity!
NOTE: *Humans are constructed as temples of the Holy Spirit. The pattern is the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. See the tract “What it means to be Human”, available by emailing here.