Our young adults group is, by definition, made up of people who (as long as they’re generally healthy) don’t tend consider themselves to be near to their final day. That’s the “young” part. But any Christian “adult” also has to reckon with the truth that the Lord of All Life knows and determines the minute when we exhale…and don’t inhale again. As people in possession of the Truth, we should be constantly growing in our readiness to face that day squarely. Of course, when it comes, the thing that will carry us is the same power that has carried us through life–the grace of God.
Below I’ve reprinted the last two paragraphs from a funeral message delivered by John Piper, with a great parable about facing those final moments:
[Imagine] a scene from your life. It is the hour of your dying. You are in the hospital. It is the middle of the night. Your best-beloved has fallen asleep from exhaustion on the chair beside your bed. Long ago you had heard the voice of the Lord and you obeyed and followed him in faith. But now a storm begins to rage as Satan throws all his final force against your faith. You feel the reality of eternity like you have never felt it before. The wind of doubt and the waves of fear lash your soul. And then, by the grace of God, there comes a scene, and it is your scene. You are in a boat in a storm. And Jesus is approaching you on the water. And on his face there is no fear. With his hair and his cloak flying in the wind, he stops a short way off and stands with his strong hands relaxed at his side in sovereign peace. And from the boat, with one last, heart-rending glance at your beloved asleep in the chair, you say, “Christ, bid me come!” And he says, “Come.” And you begin to walk on the water.
But then in the final instant you are utterly overwhelmed with what is happening. “I am dying! I am dying! This water is so deep, it is dark, it is cold and filled with hideous creatures!” For fear you begin to sink. But the promise of Jesus never fails. And with a mighty hand he seizes your arm and pulls you to himself. The storm ceases, and there is a great, beautiful calm upon the sea, and it is over. And you know, like you never imagined you could know, that Jesus is precious because he has given you eternal life.