How Do I Live When I’m Dying?

Note from Randy: As I’ve mentioned before, I greatly appreciate our Eternal Perspective Ministries staff, who often reply to messages and comments on my behalf, and do a wonderful job. This answer is from Christy Amadio, who among many things, provides customer service to those who order books from our ministry. If you’ve received a package from EPM, then it was Christy who prepared and shipped it to you! She’s a terrific sister in Christ, who like all our staff members, serves faithfully, mostly behind the scenes. That’s why I’m particularly glad to put her forward in this blog.

This was a wonderful response Christy wrote to a reader with terminal cancer. (Remember that we are all mortal, which means we too are terminal.) I was particularly moved when she quoted Tim Challies who spoke of the older woman “reading her Bible to better get to know the God she would soon meet face-to-face.” That’s what I saw every day in Nanci the last few years of her life. I will never forget her precious example to me. Listen to Christy’s wise advice.

Question from a reader:

What advice do you have for how to live when you know you are dying? I have cancer with no cure.

Answer from Christy Amadio, EPM staff:

Cancer is a hard road. I’m sorry you are having to walk it. I’m sure you are aware that Randy’s wife Nanci died recently after battling cancer for 4+ years. Here are some thoughts from her journal that might be encouraging. You can find more from Nanci here.

When he had prostate cancer, John Piper wrote Don’t Waste Your Cancer.

I have been reading a wonderful book called Aging with Grace which is about flourishing in whatever stage of life you are in. In it the author shares from an article by Tim Challies. He writes about spending time with an older believer who was reading her Bible:

“See, I often read my Bible as a means to an end. I want to live a better life, I want to live a life that is pleasing to God, and I read the Bible to teach and equip myself to do this. This is a very good reason to read the Bible. But it made me think: As I get toward the end of life, will I still want to read it? When I have little life left to live, will I still have reason to take up and read my Bible? If the purpose in reading is to live better, what will I do after I’ve already lived most of my life? As I sat with this woman, I realized that she was reading her Bible for a different reason—she was reading her Bible to better get to know the God she would soon meet face-to-face.”

Here is one more article that may be helpful. J.C. Ryle writes, “What shall support us in that trying hour? What shall enable us to feel, ‘I fear no evil’ (Psalm 23:4)? Nothing, nothing can do it but close communion with Christ…Let us cleave to Christ more closely, love Him more heartily, live to Him more thoroughly, copy Him more exactly, confess Him more boldly, follow Him more fully. “

I don’t presume to know what you are experiencing, but I pray that you will know the love and comfort of the Creator and Sustainer who loves you.

Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash

Christy Amadio works part time at EPM as a ministry assistant, specializing in communications and customer service.