Dying Prepared

By Michael Temple

Photo by Pexel

My brother-in-law is one of the most godly men that I have ever met. He has recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and unless a miracle happens, the outlook is not positive for his survival. My heart is heavy for him and his wife, Sharon (who is also battling with cancer herself). It’s one of those situations that would cause many people to question God’s goodness and sovereignty in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. 
 
I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t asked God to show me reasons why people as faithful and loving as these two are struggling so much. Mike is a hospice chaplain, and he has spent a good part of his adult life dealing with the daily challenges of ministering to dying people and their families with grace, comfort, and integrity. Sharon is a loving Christian wife who has also worked hard, raised children, and ministered to those around her. The entire situation that they are experiencing causes me to ask “Why?”
 
If Mike has asked the question, “Why me?” it hasn’t showed up in the notes that he has written to those that he loves. Through this entire experience, it appears that he has placed his complete trust in the relationship that he has with his Heavenly Father. One statement that he made in his letter to friends and family was so potent that it immediately stopped me in my tracks. 
 
“The greatest tragedy in life is not dying, but dying unprepared.”  Mike Garrison
 
I want to be like Mike! I want to have the kind of trust in God that basically says, “I may be dying…but it’s going to be alright as long as I keep my eyes focused on the One who has loved me more than anyone ever could. This is the kind of trust that brings people through life’s most challenging circumstances…and it’s what I most admire about this man that I am so privileged to know.