I haven’t posted anything for a while because I’ve been studying. For my work in community health, I’ve recently been involved in some studies in the area of palliative care. It’s interesting to note that when one observes the various models and practices of palliative care, a holistic approach is usually adopted, embracing not only the physical needs of a client, but also their psychological, social and spiritual needs.
It seems that palliative care is one area of health care where it’s acceptable to discuss spiritual values, where we acknowledge the spiritual component of a person and the strength and comfort and positive effects on overall health that spiritual values impart.
I am pleased that spiritual needs are considered in a palliative approach to health care, but realize that for some people, it takes a confrontation with their own mortality before they really think about what they believe and where they are going. Because Christianity isn’t a life insurance policy that you cash in at death, as many people seem to view it.
Jesus said “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.” (John 10:10).
Abundant life in Christ begins at conversion- repentance and faith in Jesus. It’s the fullest, most rewarding relationship you will ever experience. Some people have the idea that they should enjoy what this world has to offer as long as they can, and that conversion will result in constraint of the things that make them happy. What they fail to realize is that this world offers temporary and fleeting happiness that fails to satisfy the longings of the human soul for relationship with the One in whose image we are crafted. Every hour, month and year that we delay finding that relationship is time that we have denied ourselves living the fullest life we possibly could.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6)
We who are committed to God know the joy of His presence every day. We’re not promised an easy passage through life as a Christian but we know the guidance of His Holy Spirit which indwells us as Christians in every aspect of our lives. We know His protection and guidance. We grow in knowledge and relationship with God through prayer, Bible study and fellowship with other Christians in a caring Christian community. And He empowers us to impact others in this world for the good that only He can bring.
“He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy him who holds the power of death- that is, the devil- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Hebrews 2:14,15)
The above words relate not just to physical death, but also the fear of evil and all that it brings. We must remember that Christ has the ultimate victory over sin and death and that He promised “"I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die” (John 11:25).
The Bible promises us that as Christians God is with us, for us and will never forsake us. I’ve seen the peace and comfort that Christ can give as people approach the end of their lives. I’ve also seen and known the joy that a Christian life can provide throughout life.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).
If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Saviour, I invite you to further investigate what it means to be a Christian by talking to a Pastor at your local church, checking out some Christian websites on the net and reading the Bible. The Bible book of Mark gives a succinct account of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Many churches offer short introductory courses such as Christianity Explained or Alpha, which help those who are seeking God or have questions about the Christian faith to learn more about who He is and how we can be in relationship with Him.
Don’t wait until your deathbed to discover that you missed out on the greatest life of your earthly life.