Facing Death: Acceptance
"But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more." - (Psalm 71:14 NLT)
Thoughts for Today
So far this week we've looked at four stages of dying based on the observations of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D.(1) First denial, then anger, bargaining, and depression. We conclude today with acceptance.
When the patient accepts the fact of impending death, he or she can put personal affairs in order. "Acceptance is a final stage of rest before the terminal experience."(2) Put another way, "In essence we have said goodbye to the world and to our families and loved ones and now wish to die. Having detached ourselves from the world and from our important relationships, death becomes a great relief."(3)
Consider this …
Acceptance does not have to mean giving up hope. Running through the stage of acceptance is a conscious or unconscious hope for a remission, a healing, or a miraculous deliverance. A patient without this unyielding hope degenerates rapidly. Like the psalmist in today's Scripture . . . keep on hoping. Trust God. Trust his plan.
Surrendering to the sovereignty of God makes the death of the believer a testimony to the world of the mystical relationship between Christ and his church.
A former hospital administrator said, "I have observed hundreds of terminal patients and witnessed scores of deaths. It has been spiritually moving to witness the death of saints who slipped into the arms of their Maker. It has also been a grueling experience when the intrinsic faith was not present to sustain dying people in the hour of their death."(4)
Father, my hope is in Jesus. Help me, like the psalmist, to keep on hoping. No matter what the circumstances, I will trust you and praise you. In Jesus' name . . .
(1) Kubler-Ross, Elizabeth (1969). On Death and Dying. New York: Macmillan.
(2) Brock, Raymond T. (1988). Death, Dying, and Bereavement. In Gilbert, Marvin G. & Brock, Raymond T. The Holy Spirit and Counseling, Vol. II. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, p. 162.
(3) Coleman, J. C., & Glaros, A. G. (1983). Contemporary Psychology and Effective Behavior (5th ed.). Glenview, IL: Scott Foresmen & Company, IL, p. 116.
(4) Brock, op. cit., p. 162.
These thoughts were drawn from …
Handling Loss and Grief: How to Face Losses in Life and Grieve Christianly by Raymond T. Brock, Ed.D. This study teaches participants what the Bible has to say about handling the losses of life. It offers biblical coping methods for facing loss.
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