One of the saddest things for me to witness is a person who is nearing the end of their days without any spiritual strength to draw from. It’s something I’ve seen many times in my pastoral and hospital chaplaincy ministry.
An individual is facing death but having no spiritual strength in them their emotional stress is compounded with spiritual distress. There is a common anxiety among all men in facing death because it causes the shock of finality and the realization that it’s an experience unprepared for.
Without a reservoir of spiritual strength the human spirit is left to fear over what to expect and what will be the result afterwards. When you combine that with the dying person’s concern of leaving loved-ones behind and the affairs of life unfinished, it is the perfect storm of sadness.
On the other hand, one of the more refreshing things for me to witness is a person nearing the end of their life with spiritual strength that gives power to a positive attitude and a peaceful faith expectancy. They articulate their hope, even while dealing with concerns for loved ones and unfinished business, they can express confidence in their God and their afterlife.
I wish all men would build spiritual strength into their lives while they are still young and healthier because that’s the surest way to have it when they and their families need it most. Solomon said it this way, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come” (Ecclesiastes 12:1 NIV).
None of us can rest on an excuse for not being prepared by claiming not to know that we would one day die. Who among us has ever known a family member, a friend, a neighbor who has been exempt from death? None of us.
Simply put, today is the day to start building spiritual strength and the best way to do that is by feeding your mind with the promises of God’s Word. Meditate on the powerful transforming words of the Bible. Here are three verses I would suggest…
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV)
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (Isaiah 40:29 NIV)
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14 NIV)
I realize that life gets busy, birthdays fly by, and we can suddenly find ourselves at the mercy of mortality. It’s never too late to turn to the Lord and rely on Him for spiritual strength, but if you have breath in your lungs and a beating heart, start building spiritual strength.