Recently a question was posed to me, and it made me wonder if others were also thinking the same question but unable to actually inquire about it from others. Now, I won’t leave you in suspense, and to be honest I don’t think many people actually think about this until they or a loved one has to face this. Then it becomes not only very relevant but also essential.
The question I want you to think about is this:
Is there a difference between death and dying?
I really want you to think about it.
- Are they one and the same?
- Are they completely two entities?
- Is one the product of the other?
- Is one worse or scarier than the other?
These are some questions I want us to mull over.
The definition of death is the permanent cessation of all vital functions or the end of life. There is a finality to it. It’s a state of being, or not being, depending on how you look at it. With this in mind, is death something to be afraid of? If this life is all that you get, then yes, death is frightening! For those who believe in an afterlife, then the question is what happens next? Are we reincarnated? Are eternal spirits wandering the earth?
The possibilities go on, but there is ONE truth in the void. Beyond death is eternal life. The question is where will you spend eternal life? Will it be in the presence of the Lord in heaven, or will it be eternal separation from God in hell?
If your final destination is hell,
you will be stripped from the presence of God,
filled with pain and agony forever!
Yes, the doom and gloom is real!
Alternatively, those who have placed their faith in Christ will spend eternity in His presence, praising and worshiping with the Church! In such a scenario, death is nothing to be afraid of! In fact, we look forward to it because we know that death will only be a doorway to forever with the King. It will be incredible, beyond comprehension!
Dying, on the other hand, is an active, ongoing process. What is interesting is that there really isn’t a clear-cut definition for it. Dying comes in many forms. One could say that we are all dying at different rates, some quicker than others. There are some people who are obviously dying because you can see with your own eyes the breakdown process of the body. You see the spirit fading away like a candle flickering in the wind.
I have seen so many different ways of people dying, and it is such a wide spectrum. Some die very peacefully in their sleep with full support, surrounded by family. Others are completely caught by surprise. One second they are walking and talking, and the next they may be gasping for air because vital organs are failing.
I will be honest with you: the dying process can be scary and full of suffering. Many of my cancer patients were not afraid of death, but they were very worried about dying. A majority are scared that the pain will be unbearable or that they would feel the sensation of being suffocated by not being able to breathe. It’s more painful for the family members to stand on the sidelines.
No one wants to see their loved one die,
but more than that
no one wants to see their loved one suffer.
That waiting process is unbearable!
Compared to years ago, we have more resources on hand to make sure the dying process is a smoother and more comfortable transition. However, regardless of what advances we have made or will make, I want you to take comfort in that dying is not something we have to be fearful of. Just as Christ conquered death, He also conquered dying! Don’t believe me? Then believe in God’s Word!
For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. | 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
dying will be a light and momentary affliction.
It will be just a moment!
Think of it like giving birth. Mothers endure such incredible labor and suffering for hours upon hours, but when that baby comes all of that labor and pain fades in the background.
When Christ went to the cross, He took on the worst dying process in history. He endured the VERY worst for us, so we never have to taste of the cup of wrath that He tasted. Because of Christ, we will never have to endure the sting of death! Because of Christ, we have life forevermore.