The Blessing of a Death Sentence
When we are extremely sick, and we feel like we might even die, we fight. We spend all of our waking energy fighting, and our body fights as we sleep. The fight is more important than eating, having visitors, working, cleaning, or even watching television. The entire goal is to fight to get well.
With the addition of today’s medicines, we usually win the fight. But, we will all die someday. “Nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” (Benjamin Franklin)
When several doctors and all available tests give us no hope of recovery, we don’t have to fight. We don’t have to spend all of our remaining time and energy fighting. Of course, not every death sentence comes true – only God truly knows when we will die. For that reason, some will say that we might live past a proclaimed death sentence if we don’t give up the fight, especially when prayers are added to the mix. Our prayers are best used for how we live, not how long.
Sam worked so hard all of his life to provide well for his family. He did not retire until the last possible moment so that he could have enough money to be comfortable for twenty years after he stopped working. Sam died six months after he retired. We hear this story all too often. How would Sam have changed his life if he had known twenty years before he retired? It seems a surety that he would at least have retired sooner.
Stress kills, and Joe personified stress. He died without warning. Joe’s family barely recognized him in his casket; he had always had a look of extreme worry and anger, even in his sleep. What a joy it would have been for his family to see that peaceful face looking back at them in life, even if it was only for months or weeks. If only he had known in advance.
Receiving a death sentence from doctors is actually a blessing. We are instantly relieved of the society-required duty of fighting. We are instantly given permission to do as we please and speak nothing but our true feelings. We are instantly able to concentrate on the future of others instead of on our lot, and on God instead of ourselves. With a death sentence, any time we have left would be all ours – not that of our boss or even household chores.
Maybe we should all pray for God to give us a warning like doctors do: “You’ve got six months” to LIVE.