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  • Writer's picturePastor Jim Stultz

Preparing for Your Departure

               I recall reading a story of a young man who was flown into desolate northern Alaska to photograph the natural beauty and mysteries of the tundra.  He arrived in the spring of 1981 with 500 rolls of film, several firearms, and 1400 pounds of provisions.  As the months passed the words in his diary changed from wonder and fascination into a nightmare.  In August he wrote in his diary, I think I should have used more foresight about arranging for my departure.  I’ll soon find out.  In November he died in a nameless valley by a nameless lake, 225 miles northeast of Fairbanks.  An investigation revealed that though he had carefully planned his trip, he had made no provision to be flown out. 

            Sadly, many people make plans to live but fail to make plans for their departure from this world.  In Phil. 1:20-23 Paul gives his testimony: “According to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better”. His fulfilling life revolved around magnifying and serving Christ as he invested in the spiritual growth and life of other believers.  Yet, as he was in prison awaiting trial, he was also ready to die.  He describes his departure as something far better.  He speaks of it as gain and not loss.  He would finally be present with Christ his Savior.

            How about you?  Are you ready for your departure?  Or are you so preoccupied with living your life that you have made no provision for the time when you will die?  Jesus died on the cross to pay for our sin and open the way to heaven.  We can prepare for our inevitable departure by trusting Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.

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