Why I Don’t Want to Die Yet

In church, we’re going through the books of Revelation and Ezekiel. Understandably, the “end times” have been on my mind. This isn’t a new topic for me. If you know anything about my book, A Time to Die, you know I’ve tackled the idea of mortality, finitude, temporarity . . .

I am not afraid to die.

However, I don’t want to die yet. I don’t want to be raptured unless I’m ninety-eight-years-old or older. 🙂 Why? Because I have one chance to be an example of Christ to those who don’t know Him. One chance to live out the calling He has placed on my life:

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After this life, I will be dwelling in my inheritance as an adopted child of God. Heaven. There are no tears. No suffering. It will be perfect. It will be pure joy. But I don’t want Heaven yet. (Tweet this

It would feel as though I received the gold medal without actually running the race.

Perhaps my heart isn’t right. Shouldn’t I want only to be with Christ? I hear this so often, especially regarding the rapture — that we should be holding on and longing for His return. Is that how I should feel?

I don’t feel it. I feel a shrill banshee scream in my mind saying, “NOOO!” I’ve only just fallen deeply in love with Christ. I still have stamina in me. I need to pursue people. I need to risk my life, my comfort . . . for Him.

I want to live as long as humanly possible solely so that He will use me, more fully, to reach His people. I want to be with Him in heaven, but this . . . this life . . . is my one chance to be faithful and obedient. I’ve already wasted years of my life through selfishness, and the moment I step back to look at life through eternal lenses . . . I panic. Because I haven’t done for God what I want to yet.

Don’t get me wrong. This is, in no way, an attempt to earn my way into heaven. We are saved by grace and salvation doesn’t hinge only on my actions. But I want to live a full life for Christ.

This is the only life we have. At most, we have to persevere through one hundred years of imperfection before stepping into eternal rest and perfection. I know I’ll get tired someday. I’ll hit a point where I long for heaven. But it’s already promised to me. So until then, I’ll continue striving. Remember: life demands pursuit and God’s given you the perfect amount of time with which to catch it. (Tweet this)

What about you? Are you ready for Christ to return and take you home?

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About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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6 Comments

  1. Great perspective, Nadine!

  2. This so reminds me of the apostle Paul’s heart in Philippians when he expresses “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain”. Go for the gusto Nadine as if it is your last day……and then, the victor’s crown! So proud of you girl! Your heart is inspiring!

  3. Hi Nadine
    I am 50, and a father of a 3 and 5 year old
    Since being diagnosed with a fairly common manageable heart condition I have been consumed at times with the fear of dying. I am saved but desperately want to be here for a long time for my wife and kids. I so desire to serve God and be an example to my family but feel paralyzed by the fear of dying. How do you not allow this fear to consume you?

    • Hello Mike,
      That is a very real fear and I can’t say that I’m always fearless. There are days when I pray strongly that it’s not my last (or even close to my last.) But I find my strength mainly in God’s promises that He KNOWS.
      – He knows your fears.
      – He knows your dreams.
      But even more than that, He knows what is best for you, for your children, for your wife, and for His glory.

      I think I am able to release that fear by releasing my control. It takes daily strength and daily choice to believe that God loves my husband more than I do. And that God will take better care of him than I will.

      Instead of focusing on NOT thinking about the fear, I find a new focus. God. Every time I’m tempted to fear, I pick up my Bible (“Fear not,” says the Lord in Isaiah 41:10, “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..)

      Any time I start thinking about how much longer I want to live, I think on Paul’s words in Philippians 1:6: “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

      D. L. Moody said, “To fear is to have more faith in your antagonist than in Christ.” Fear comes from when we the frightening things to shout louder than God’s words that we have stored up in our heart. It comes when we forget that Christ is not just all-knowing and all-powerful but also gracious. He holds ALL things in His hands (Col 1:17) — your family, your children, your fears, your dreams…

      Every time I am tempted to be paralyzed by fear, I immerse myself in God’s Word. I immerse myself so much so that I cannot even THINK of my fear. I pray and make Him my every moment, every breath. Because He is the goal of our lives. And He’s worth it.

      And it is when I forget that, that I start to fear.

      I am praying for you, my friend.

I love hearing from you!