Two Deaths

Shortly after I read the tragic blog of a man who committed suicide recently, one of my parishioners told me how her mother died at the age of fifty-one. On the last day of her life, with the family gathered around her bed, she closed her eyes for what they thought would be the last time, but before she passed on, she suddenly opened her eyes, lifted up one hand, and spoke with conviction, “Last evening the Lord reassured me, ‘I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me’” (Isa. 49:16).

She then paused and said, “I long to go now to be with my Savior.”

One of the relatives responded, “But you are so young yet—only fifty-one. Wouldn’t you want to be restored to stay with your children? They are so young yet.”

“I have committed my young children into the Lord’s hand,” she said. “He will take of them.”

After that, she slipped away into the presence of her King.

The contrast between these deaths could hardly be more stark. Charles Spurgeon was certainly right when he said that the best way to live is to be always ready to die so that when the day of our death comes we have nothing left to do but die.

I wish you and your loved one in this new year this kind of dying life in Christ, so that we may find our daily life in Christ for our justification and our daily dying in Him for our sanctification. Have a blessed New Year—in Christ Jesus, by God’s stupendous grace!


  1. Please pray for the Ishman family from my hometown of Warren, Pennsylvania. 

    In October or November they buried a teenage son. The son, Jeffrey, committed suicide after being severely bullied at school. The father, Darby, has been hurting so badly! He just posted a picture on Facebook on December 24, of a tattoo he got over his heart, of his son’s handprint from the hospital from the day he died. I just received the news that Darby killed himself yesterday on his son’s grave. He leaves behind a wife, Justine, and a teenage daughter, Kaitlin.

    Sad how the human condition can be stronger than our love for our families or our faith.

  2. Dear Pastor Joel Beeke.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I wrote on my FB by sharing this post the following:

    “I love testimonies of Children of God who went to their Savior. He saved us by washing our sins for ever with His Blood. So this encouraged me to persevere until the end notwithstanding tribulations and temptations which we can overcome by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit”.

    I have one question about the last paragraph where you wish the readers a spiritual ‘dying’ live In Christ, both in the justification and the sanctification. I can understand the imitation to follow Jesus Christ in daily cross wearing and self-denying. I experience this as a process of demolition of the flesh and the daily process to lay down the old nature and clothed with the new nature like Paul states in Ephesians 4 from verse 22.

    I don’t clearly understand what you mean with our daily walk with Jesus for my justification. Is that not a case that is be settled (in heaven) when I came to saving faith?

    With regards.

    Cees van Beek
    The Netherlands

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