By Gary Miller
I’m always excited about the times I get to go on an extended hunting or fishing trip. The expectations are always high and the opportunity to go with a friend makes the miles pass quickly and the laughs come in abundance. I just returned from my final deer hunting trip of the year. Each day of this four-day hunt offered its own challenges and hours in the tree stand made nights in a warm bed even more comfortable. We fought cold and windy days along with discovering that we were too early for the rut. By the last day my mind was drifting toward home. I was tired of fighting the elements, tired of battling my bodies urge to stay in bed, and tired of being away from my family whom I love. I wanted to go home. As I reflected on my desire to leave I was reminded of a lesson that I had learned earlier in life – one that helped me understand more about death and dying.
Over the years I have stood at the bedside of many of the elderly who were sick and dying. Many of them were battling all sorts of illness or disease. Instead of continuing to fight, their desire was simple. They wanted to go home. Not to the brick and mortar earthly dwelling but to their heavenly home. As a young man I never understood why anyone would trade life for death. As an older man, now I do. It was not that these men and women wished to cease to live but it was that they wished to live in a better place; one that promised a new body and where most of their loved ones were waiting. It was sort of like my hunting trip. It was not that I did not love to deer hunt but when it came right down to it what I really loved more than anything was at home. And not only could I be with the ones I loved, I could do it without facing the battles that I was looking at right now.
You may have an elderly loved one who is fighting a battle of sickness. You may think they have lost their desire to live. For a Christian that is far from the truth. They have not lost their desire to live, only their desire to do it here. Remember that God always heals. Sometimes He does it here and sometimes He does it in Heaven.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.