What to say when a loved one is dying - Experiencing LIFE Today - January 25, 2019
But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story… — C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
Have you ever wondered what to say to a loved one who is dying? It’s a sacred moment in time as he or she faces the unknown. What words can we share?
Consider sharing Psalm 22. Talk about how Jesus was the last of God’s children to face death alone. Talk about how He’s the pioneer of salvation—cutting a path through death to glory. Speak of Jesus’ own temptation to fear death. And then talk about the transition in Psalm 22 from Jesus’ cry for help to His anticipation of life with His brothers and sisters.
Open Hebrews and share the promise in 2:18,
Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Encourage your loved one to call for Jesus’ help. The only One who can go through death with us is the only One who has gone through death already. Jesus has experienced it and returned to tell us there is hope.
And so, if we are alive in Christ, He will walk us through death. He’ll say, “Okay, here’s what’s going to happen next. Get ready for this. This is coming.”
Perhaps you suspect someone is experiencing suicidal thoughts. Sargent Kevin Briggs, a former California Highway Patrolman, was a first responder to many suicide attempts on the Golden Gate Bridge. Due to the height of the bridge, only 1 to 2 percent of all jumpers survive. During his career, Briggs witnessed just two survivors, both of whom said that as soon as they let go of the bridge, they knew they’d made a terrible mistake.
Did the other 98 percent share those same final thoughts? If you believe someone is struggling with hopelessness right now, ask how he or she is doing. Listen to the response. Point that person to Jesus, the only One who can fill life with meaning and purpose.
Jesus, because of life’s highs and lows and drama, I sometimes forget it’s not the main act. Speak words of grace and peace through me to all my loved ones who are dying—either physically or emotionally. May I remind them of Your hope. Amen.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com