Death Will Come When Christ Calls

as featured at Desiring God
This article originally appeared on the Desiring God blog on December 19, 2019. Read the entire article at this link.
I never used to look at cemeteries. My fear of death as a child prohibited me from staring down the tombstones, as if I could avoid the grim reaper’s sickle by simply diverting my eyes.

Death was a foreigner until I watched my dad wither away. As cancer shaved his frame to the bone, and the space between breaths gained greater distance, my worst enemy seemed to dance and destroy all at the very same time.

I wanted death gone, but instead, my dad was the one to leave. I was so shattered by his passing that I refused to watch the gurney roll out of the house. The reaper may well have taken my father from me, but I would not offer him the satisfaction of my gaze. I would not look as the mortuary van drove away in the cover of midnight darkness.

It was not until I became a follower of Christ that my perspective on death changed, and I came to understand it as something more than an instrument of destruction. In Christ, death is no doomsday — it’s a gateway.
When we fear death, our souls long to be comforted from someone who has passed through the terrifying pilgrimage and ultimately lived to tell about it. Jesus — the firstfruits of resurrected life (1 Corinthians 15:23) — is the one and only man who can boast such a feat. He waves his pierced hands across the great divide and beckons us upward to glory.
Death Will Come When Christ Calls
Christine M. Chappell
Christine Chappell is the author of Clean Home, Messy Heart and Help! My Child is Depressed (forthcoming with Shepherd Press, Spring 2020)She hosts The Hope + Help Project podcast and has completed biblical counseling certificates with the Institute for Biblical Counseling & Discipleship. Christine's writing has been featured at Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, Risen Motherhood, Servants of Grace, and Thrive Moms.