A Living Will

Saturday, October 6, 2018
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Hebrews 9:27 – And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment. (KJV)

Conversations in a physician's waiting room can be interesting and run the gamut.

As my wife and I sat in the waiting room, waiting for her to be called back for her colonoscopy, we listened to the various conversations. One was between an older man, his son, and the receptionist. The receptionist called the man's son to the window to answer some questions that his father had omitted when filling out his paperwork.

"Does he have a living will?" she asked.

"Do you have a living will?" the son asked his father.

"Yes, I want to live," the man responded.

The receptionist and son concluded that he didn't have a living will — and didn't even know what one was. His anxiety about the procedure was evident, and, as my wife later learned, the doctors didn't do everything that they had intended because of it.

The writer of Hebrews makes a pointed reminder to his readers: everyone is going to die, and judgment will follow — sobering thoughts, not ones that I enjoy thinking about, but ones that I must entertain.

A living will is important if I don't want to be kept alive by artificial means — sometimes leaving patients on life support and in a vegetative state. From my family's experience with my father, we discovered that a living will isn't enough. A DNR order (Do Not Resuscitate) is also necessary, since doctors can override a living will.

Having a normal will is also essential if I don't want the government to take my possessions or distribute them in a way that I wouldn't approve of. Having a simple will drawn up is inexpensive and can even be done through online legal services.

More important is the preparation that I make for my eternity — not for the comfort of those that I leave behind. I will not live forever, and I cannot know the date of my death. But I can know whether or not I'm prepared. Trusting Christ as my Saviour and living in obedience to His commands are the only ways to prepare. Doing so fits me for heaven by re-establishing the relationship that sin broke. Like the man in the physician's office, I want to live — but I also know that I'm going to die.

Let's take care of those we'll leave behind, and let's make sure that we're prepared for what's ahead.

Prayer: Father, thank You for preparing an eternal existence for us. Prepare us so that we'll be ready to enjoy Your presence for all of eternity. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you, well done.

    This was Fantastic! Thank you!

    Thanks for sharing this essential piece of information with us. I especially liked the application. Blessings.

    Hi Martin,
    Such good words in your devotional this morning.
    I wish you a blessed Sunday.

    A great article. I have a living will and pre-arrangement and all that and trusting Jesus too.
    And glad of it!
    Interested in knowing more about the DNR. I would like to know how to do that.

    Good Morning,
    Whenever my thoughts are like your thoughts, I turn to Ecclesiastes, and I am reassured we all walk on the same road. Some fearfully, some happily.
    Since I trust Jehovah and Jesus, our path we share is trusted, and our spirits soar!

    Amen Martin. I don’t know about the States but Canada has made it so complicated in regards to wills and living wills that it is next to impossible to get it all done much less figure it out without paying a lawyer thousands of dollars. And unless these wills are done in a certain way according to government standards the courts will not accept them.
    The whole world has gone insane, but according to the scriptures l guess that’s to be expected.

    Yours was a superb devotional this morning for me. A combination of its simplicity, clarity and important message told in understandable terms. It is like a picture being gradually painted; first the receptionist, the son and the old man, then you and your wife and then us, sitting in the room there with you, watching, listening and understanding as you gently bear witness and describe what we must do with behind it all, your dear wife dutifully undergoing one of those awful colonoscopies, so that she may live a little more and you, the painter, showing your love by accompanying her and including us as you paint and tell us what you see! Superb indeed! Thank you for the message, the picture and the example.

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