I take you to the deathbed of the man Sir Michael Faraday. Faraday was a great Christian and a noted Scientist. Some journalists came to see him and questioned him on his speculations for a life after death. Faraday responded, “Speculations! I know nothing about speculations. I am resting on certainties. I know that my Redeemer lives, and because He lives, I shall live also.” (Job 19:25)
This was a man who had met Christ his ‘Redeemer’ and thus was right with God facing death with a certainty. Life made sense and he was ready to die knowing heaven was around the corner. I can’t tell you what a satisfying and thrilling experience it is for me to stand over the bedside of a dying Christian Saint who stands righteous before God. They are filled, content, satisfied and ready meet God.
I’m reminded of the story attributed to Sigmund Freud. Freud told about a sailor who was shipwrecked on a remote South Sea island. He was seized by the natives, placed on their shoulders and seated on a crude throne. He later learned that it was their custom to make someone king for a year — he was selected. The new king was pampered, honored and obeyed
without question for 12 months. At the end of the year, however, this king would be banished to a desolate and deserted island to starved to death. When the sailor learned about this
arrangement he decided to do something about his coming demise. Every day throughout his reign, he put his men to the task of traveling to the deserted island transplanting fruit trees, growing of crops, building of houses among other improvements. At the end of his rule, he was not banished to an island of starvation, but to a tropical paradise.
I think of this story as I remember the life we are living now. In one sense, we are like the sailor sitting on a throne for a year. We are in a ‘year’ of good times, full of fun and adventure. Yet, we have to remember that we’re only living here for one period of time. If we waste our time without planning for the future, we’ll have nothing when we’re transferred to the next island. On the other hand, if we spend our lives in the pursuit of righteousness, becoming right with God and following His ways, then we know there will be a reward — a paradise on the next island.
I think of Jesus who said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).