The Death Vigil

February 26, 2019
by Martin Wiles

2 Corinthians 5:8 – Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. (NLT)

He lay almost motionless — a Superman tattoo on his arm.

My brother-in-law often kidded that he was Superman. And he had been. He survived things that had killed many people. Though a young man, several heart attacks had damaged his heart beyond repair.

Not only had he survived health issues, but he had also made it through many years of reckless living. He had endured beatings, robberies, and a near-fatal shooting. He made it through work injuries. When the list was perused, I could understand the Superman tattoo on his arm as well as his mentality.

At last, the great leveller of all mankind had conquered him. Doctors had done all that they could. Now, he lay in a hospital bed in a local hospice house. The doctor talked to the family. His body was shutting down. There was nothing else that they could do but make him comfortable. My wife swabbed his mouth, used a machine to suck draining body fluids, held her phone to his ear while playing one of his favourite songs, and cried. Family members took turns talking to him and expressing their love.

Had his dilemma happened six months previously, we would have been more worried. A part of his reckless living was holding God at arm's length. He grew up going to church but had left that part of his life many years before. Though filled with grief, we weren't as worried now. He had recently made his peace with God and spoke often of his readiness to meet his Saviour. Our hearts were comforted.

Paul also took security in knowing that if persecution took his life, he would immediately be in heaven with his Saviour.

Losing a loved one is never easy, but knowing that they will enter heaven's gates and that we will see them again in eternity makes the process easier. Heaven isn't a pie-in-the-sky fairy tale believed by those who need courage to face death, but an actual place prepared for those who choose to follow Jesus Christ. Jesus said that there are many rooms there — enough for as many as believe in Him.

Our family took comfort in knowing that our loved one would be waiting on us. We invite you to join us. Believe today. Don't wait until it's too late.

Prayer: Father, thank You for preparing a place for those who love and choose to follow You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

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

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen.


    Thank you.


    Amen Martin.


    Well said and well lived.


    Yes, very moving and so heartfelt.


    May Superman rest in peace.
    (CA)


    Hi Martin,
    Good words this morning.
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Martin. My husband had a similar experience with his brother, who came to the Lord a few days before he died. It is comforting.


    Thank you, Martin, for sharing this experience from your lives. Praise God; it is indeed such a message of hope.
    Blessings.


    Thank you, Martin. We will pray salvation for the man who call themselves “Superman” or Superwoman in our lives.
    (USA)


    Thanks for sharing your story with us today. How blessed we are to know that there is a place prepared for us in heaven when we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour!


    Thank you for sharing your understanding and strength today, Martin. Seeing someone on their journey out is a blessing that is only granted us now and then, but we never forget.


    Dear Martin Wiles,
    Thank you for a precious devotional – one that I’ll copy and pass around.
    May God continue to gift you with the writing of more devotionals.


    Hello
    Thank you for that beautiful and encouraging devotional. I am praying that is confirmation for my prayers for family salvations will become a reality also.
    God bless.


    Praise God for His saving Grace. My heart goes out to you Martin, and I thank God for your willingness to share your painful experience with others. Stories like yours will energize us, and prepare us for our own situations, and also for the circumstances of those with whom we pray and share painful and difficult times. Blessings on you.


    Hello Martin,
    A very heartfelt devotional and though we are so saddened by the passing of a loved one, our faith gives us the joy that we will be reunited in heaven. God’s love and care is ever faithful to His word. Thank you, Martin, and blessings for this poignant writing.
    (Ecuador)


    Hello Martin,
    Though death is the Christian’s reward, losing a loved one gone home is difficult for those left behind so I offer my heartfelt sentiments to you, your wife, and entire family.
    Thank you for presenting this practical, useful devotional today in such a sincere, and urgent, Spirit-filled way.


    Beautiful.


    How wonderful and sad at the same time when one of our loved ones is Promoted to Glory.
    A few days before my father was PTG, he was in the hospital and I chose to stay overnight with him. In the middle of the night, he sat up straight which he hadn’t been able to do for quite a while. There was a glow about him.
    Half asleep I heard him say that he had seen a most beautiful place. Dad, I replied, you had a nice dream. He rightly chided me that it was beyond description and He had given it to him, not a dream. It was the place prepared for my dad. He laid back on his pillow with the glow still around him.
    My son was involved in doing his granddad’s funeral. He was not sure what Scripture to use. Unbeknown to me, it came to him that…I go to prepare a place for you that where I am you might be also…is appropriate. When I heard that my joy overflowed because God assured us that Dad was with Him.

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