The argument goes something like this – isn’t death often a natural result of sickness. We get old and sick and then we die. If God has “ordained” death then why oppose sickness?

Death was never God’s Plan for man. It entered human history because of the sin of rebellion. Man stepped out from under God’s authority. From that time on God has appointed a time for each of us to die. This is true but, a premature death is not glorifying to God if it is not in His timing. Death by old age [too much life] is the biblical model of a God blessed life. The old testament makes this very clear. Death from old age and death from sickness are not the same thing. This is obvious from human nature, from our natural response to death. When an older loved one dies we are sad, but we console ourselves with the fact that they led a long and fruitful life – a “full” life. There is a sense of rightness about such a death. The death of a young person is impossible to see in that light. We know intuitively that such a death is wrong, often to such a degree that the grieving family will often become alienated from God because they see it as so wrong. We should not discount this innate human understanding – I believe it is a true understanding of what God wills for us. A pastoral issue that we who pray for healing must face is the request to pray for the healing of a loved one who is very old and who has lived a “full life”. We have to ask our selves if this person is approaching the time of their “God ordained time to die”. There comes a time when our efforts should be toward preparing the person for their death rather than denying it. This is, of course, a question that requires guidance from the Holy Spirit. I am often led to ask the adult child of a very old parent if I may pray for the quick and peaceful death of their parent. When this is what they truly wish we have prayed together for such and death and in most cases have seen that prayer answered very quickly.


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