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To Live Is Christ (Philippians 1:21-26)

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

Being a parent of children in heaven is hard. Please do not assume I am suicidal when I say this, but there are days when I wish my death was soon – because I want to see them again. Verse 21 above is exactly the point: to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Even if my children were not waiting for me in heaven, even if I didn’t have all kinds of beloved saints who have gone before, even if the only thing waiting for me on the other side of death is Christ: it’s still gain!

But I have life, because God has work for me here. Some of my work is for you who read this. Some of it is for those who will never know I have a blog, but benefit from other things that God has prepared in advance for me to do.

When I was young, I had a clear understanding that I was not going to die as a young person. This was not the foolish, nothing-can-touch-me attitude of a risk taker, but a clear, steady assurance that I know now came from God, reminding me that I had a reason to be walking around on the earth, and my time was not yet done. I recognize it now as God’s guiding hand because I’ve experienced it in other areas of my life since then.

I don’t believe that I have any huge importance in this world, believe me. I’m just a small cog in this huge plan of God’s, and I certainly don’t understand all of it. But I know I’m still here turning because I’m part of that plan, and that is very helpful for me on the days when I miss my children the most. I know they are safe, and I have work to do here. And someday, not long from now (in the light of eternity, it’s a pretty short time even if I live to be 100), I will be with them again, worshiping at the throne of God.

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