Dying to Live
While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh. . . . We want
to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life
(2 Corinthians 5:4).
How’s your dad?” a colleague asked me.
“Struggling to die,” I replied. My 84-year-old
dad has endured the painful debilitating effects
of liver cancer for 2 years. Doctors have told me and
my family to be prepared for his inevitable demise. So
as he lies on that hospital bed, I feel his pain. In a weak
voice, he recently said, “My time is almost up.” Dad isn’t
struggling to live, but waiting to die.
I take comfort in what Paul said in Romans 8: “Yet
what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory
He will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting
eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His
children really are” (vv.18-19).
Dad may be helpless against some rogue cells that
have attacked his body. But he is certainly not without
hope. My father is God’s child (vv.15-17). He has
entrusted himself to the One who is trustworthy (2
Timothy 1:12). He knows he’s finally going home to be
with Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Yes, “we believers also groan, . . . we long for our
bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too,
wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us
our full rights as His adopted children, including the new
bodies He has promised us” (Romans 8:23).
God “chose [Dad] to become like His Son. . . . And
. . . He called [Dad] to come to Him. . . . He gave [Dad]
right standing with Himself. . . . He gave [Dad] His glory” (vv.29-30). My father
may have cancer. But cancer doesn’t have him. God has him. And this is the
glory that awaits Dad.
He’s not struggling to die. Dad is dying to live with God forever!
What hope and comfort
does 2 Corinthians 5:1 give to those
who are God’s children?
Read Romans 8:15-30
again. What assurances
does God give to those
who are suffering?