Helping a friend who is dying [cc]


Uploaded by JRDViralVideos on 29.05.2011

Transcript:
It's hard to help someone when they are dying
we often find this very difficult
in fact
It's something most of us try to avoid
yet the reality is
that most of us know someone who was dying or someone who has a family or extended family
member or a close friend
who was dying
So our topic for this morning is the central one
for our life
King David makes it very clear in this passage
that all of us are going to die
and most of not all of us will come into close personal contact
was someone who is dying
Lets hear not only David's words this morning
but the feelings he must have been feeling
let's begin by looking at this passage
please open your Bibles
Pull out your message outlines
and follow along as I begin reading in Psalms eighty-nine verse one
I will sing of the Lord's unfailing love forever
Young and old will hear of your faithfulness
Your unfailing love will last forever
Your faithfulness
is as enduring as the heavens
you have made him old before his time and publicly disgraced him
Oh Lord, how
long will this go on?
will you hide yourself forever?
how long will your anger
burn like fire?
remember how short my life is
how empty and futile this human existence
no one can live forever
all will die
no one can escape
The power of the grave
thank you Dave
being at the
Bedside of someone
the is dying
is both
uh...
a great challenge and a great privileges as a pastor
it is a great privilege to be with people
to talk with people
to support and encourage people as they die
but it is also one of the most challenging things
that I do
on a
uh... week to week, month to month basis
in fact
it seems this year
we've had
a few more deaths than
we have on an average year
in the last two and a half months
thirteen members of our church a passed way
and then it eight
memorial services in the last two months
David is right
all of us are going to die
we're all going to die no one is going to escape death
Paul says that the wages of sin
is death the fact that we live in a sin affected world
the ultimate result of that is that we're going to die
so far that statistic
is a hundred percent
how do we usually respond
when we know someone
is dying
when we discover that we are dying
we used to think of this response in a more linear fashion as
counselors and therapists and psychologist but
today
in my experiences is that it's not so linear
these are the phases or
stages that we go through the thoughts that we have but
uh...
we often do it in a very circular manner
we revisit
some of that process from time to time
that process always begins with denial
this can't be happening to me or this can't be happening to them
and the truth is we all want to live
in denial when it comes to our death
we want to
Hold it off
At least at arms length
we want to denying that it's happening even though we see the pending results in the mirror
everyday
it's the second law of thermodynamics
Right? The law of entropy
that means it doesn't look as good today
is it did a year ago
I know I'm getting older because I used to say you know
I look at myself and I'd say you know I think I look pretty good
now I still look at the mirror and I say you know for an old guy you looked pretty
good for your age
we want to deny the fact that one day we're going to die
we want to deny the reality that actually we are dying
everyday
we want to ignore it
because we want to ignore and deny it's reality in our own life
we have great difficulty in getting our arms around that reality
when it's actually happening to someone around us such as a loved one
family member
extended family member
a close friend a neighbor
we want to deny that is happening because we want to deny it's happening to us
now it's interesting as David is
all through what I want to say today it's amazing how he was so attuned to his real emotions
and had a unique ability to
put a pen to what he was feeling
he writes in Psalm fifty five four he says
I'm frightened inside the terror of death has attacked me
most everybody has a little fear a little
a little terror
in their heart in their soul when the reality of death strikes
And if its
come in a very traumatic way
that's even
a greater jolt to us because we have
no ability to really process or deny ahead of time
and we not only need to deal with the grief and loss
of someone
but the denial that we've been living under as well
denial often leads to anger
and when we are angry we're
angry at everybody we start with God
We're mad at God
then we're mad at everybody else we're mad at them
then we finally
we finally realized that we're mad at us
and we often play the coulda, woulda, shoulda game
and the more we play that game the angrier we becolm about the whole thing
I was overcome with
anger David writes the more I thought the more troubled I became
Isn't that true when you're dealing with someone who is dying
when you're dealing with death
when you're dealing with your own immortality
the more we think about it the more we feel life slipping away
the more we have to deal with what comes along is we mature and age
Boy, it makes us mad doesn't it?
makes us angry
denial
anger okay
since I know God is in charge I'm going to bargain my way out of this
or I'm going to bargain for someone else,
Lord, if you spare their life
I promise I will
I'll do this or I'll do that
in the
in the military service that's called a
a foxhole prayer
foxhole conversion
Lord if youu get me out of here
and many military people have prayed that prayer Lord if you get me out here I promise
to go to church every Sunday
Lord I promise if you get
if you get me out of here
I'll serve you in any way that I can
Lord you get me out of here I promise I'll tithe the rest of my life
pray that prayer today, will you?
and we bargain, don't we?
we even bargain mentally with God as we age
Lord, if you just let me do
this
if I can just do this, I've heard this I'm going to do this
one more time
before I can't do it anymore
and good for you do it one more time
because it may be the last time that you do it
I was overcome with anger
Yeah, death makes us angry
the loss of life
the loss of potential and the opportunity of life it does make us angry
and then we begin to bargain
you can never pay God enough to stay alive forever
and be safe from death
you know what's really interesting is to watch
what people with a lot of money do as they die
is they often think they can
buy favor with God
because they didn't feel that they had favor with God throughout their life
I'm getting near to the end I'd better earn my way
Into heaven
Well, guess what you can't earn your way intoand heaven
David even knows that
you can't give enough money you can't do enough service
everybody's at least one dollar short or one good act short
of getting into heaven
the great thing is that God paid the price
and it's his good work on the cross that gets us into heaven
but we do want a bargain our way
Denial, anger, bargaining finally it makes us depressed
and I'll say this if you have not been a little depressed about death it probably means that
you've not really dealt with death in your life
you have been you have it faced her own mortality
because facing your own mortality having to really sort out your feelings about death
it will make you feel a little depressed and it ought to
all of these feelings are real feelings
and even if you haven't felt the other feelings
you ought to feel the feeling of depression to some degree
you must mourn the loss of a life
and of death
everybody does everybody needs to
David does
David writes I'm at the end of my rope
my life is in ruins
I'm fading away to nothing
and passing away
we know that that's true we see the evidence of that on some regular basis I was reminded
of that last night
had a couple over for dinner
who we're driving through the area they we're in our small group twenty six years ago
and our kids grew up together
in fact in my office I have a little picture of our boys dressed up to do the Christmas
story a little towel on their head a little robes
and we had a little Christmas dinner together as a small group and then all the kids reenacted
the Christmas play in their house
great memories
they we're all out of the car, they haven't aged a bit
they looked fantastic
we all change
They had changed but they looked very good
we have to face the fact
that we're all going to die
we have to face the fact that right now we're all dying
and once we
we feel the depression of our own mortality or the mortality
dying and death of someone around us it's a very freeing thing
it's extremely freeing
because we change
from being mad at God and everyone else
to finally saying ok God, I know I've got a lot to celebrate because I know my life
is in your hands
I know that you have a plan
and for my life and it's not only a plan when I'm living you got a plan for me for when
I die
what happens after I die
and here I would challenge you to look at
all the world religions
I heard it again the other day
well you know all religion it's just
different sides of the same mountain
I'm tell you what
what's at the top of the mountain ask that question when you look at the Muslim religion
ask that question
When you look at Buddhism
Ask that question when you look at Confucianism
Ask that question
when you think about Christianity and I can tell you
the heaven of the Bible is
a much preferred place to be
then what's described in any other world religion
frankly any other philosophy
of life
heaven as it's depicted in the scriptures
is to give us comfort
in our dying
in the dying of someone else
because it will be of glorious place we'll be completely in the glory of God
Wow, that will be awesome
now those are the feelings those are our normal reactions and
like I mentioned they're not necessarily linear
just because you get depressed that doesn't mean you're not going to go back and get angry
again
just because you begin to get your arms around the reality that you are going to die it doesn't
mean that you're not going to bargain any longer
what happens David says I'm trusting the Lord saying you are my God my future is in
your hands
and whether you know it or not your future is in God's hands
he holds all the cards
he holds all the cards
and lucky for us
he loves us
he's a merciful and gracious God
and he has a plan for us that's good
a plan for us to prosper
and even in our death we prosper, don't we?
because
Christ promises us
as he has resurrected
we will resurrect too
now what do we do
who how do we respond to
those around us
who are dying
I'm simply going to take the word comfort
and use it as an across stick
and take you through those seven points, let's begin
C is that first of all you've got to confront Your own denial of mortality
your own fear of death
I can tell you, you don't want to be around anybody dying
if you haven't dealt with your own mortality
I know you don't you want to keep them at arm's length
you want to love them from the doorway of the hospital
or the bedroom
because if you don't resolve those
your own feelings of mortality
of death
you can't get close to anybody who's dying
When I
was in seminary we had a mentor, professor
pastor
who talked to us about that
and he said and ninety percent of the students graduating have never dealt with death
and they've never confronted their own fears of death their own denials of their own death
and he pretty much looked at us straight in the eye and said and you better deal with it before
you get there
because if you have to come along side of someone
who was dying in the hospital
and you haven't dealt with that you're not going to be any good to them
you're going to miss a great opportunity
for ministry
A needed opportunity for ministry
so we have to first begin with
are our own fears of death
it's interesting all the way back to Adam Adam said
I was afraid and I was naked and I hid what do we do
when we faced difficult emotions we want to hide from them, we want to deny them
We can't do that
Number two is we have to offer our physical presence
when we started this series the messages I gave you I think some very good advice
show up and shut up
show up and shut up when you're helping somebody
now today I'm going to tell you need to say some things but first of all you just need to show
up
you need to be physically close to someone who was dying
I can't tell you the number of times when I've prayed with someone who was dying in
the hospital or in their home
they grab a hold of my hand
for dear life
if I get close to them they if I put my hand they reel me in
And give me a hug
and when there's tubes and stuff coming out of people
that's something I want you know
It is a great privilege
that they would want
my embrace in that moment
and they do, they all want your embrace
they all want you to touch them to be with them
to being present with them
they just don't want to be alone and David knows that I'd look for someone to come
and help me
but no one gives me a passing thought
no one will help me no one cares abit about what happens to me
that's the prayer of people who are passing away in our community
they don't have children and don't have children that live in the area
that's why our deacons go and visit anyone
who is terminally ill
that's why I go and visit
anyone who's terminally ill because they just need someone to be with them
they don't want to die
so to speak alone although they may want to die alone
you may come and be present with them
and when you when you leave
they'll pass away
because they want to be in control of when they die
and they don't want to die in front of you
but in general
people don't want to die alone
they want to know that someone is there with them physically present
we need to minister to them in practical ways
David says I'm burning with fever and I'm near death I'm worn out and utterly crushed
my heart is troubled and I groan in pain
how do we respond to a person like that
Paul says to Timothy take tender care of those who are weak
I was
visiting someone in this congregation who was dying
and when I arrived one day
someone from the church
not even a deacon had
beat me there
and they were
putting lotion on the this persons feet and legs they had
edema
and
that massage of that lotion was very comforting
and I stopped as I went into the room and I thought boy, I don't
think I would like doing that
Have you ever touched
the feet of someone who's dying, they are cold they're clammy
but this woman very happily
massaged
I asked her
I said
is this the first time you've shown up and
she pleasantly said no I come just about every other day
because I know that
they have pain in their legs and I want to massage that
and can bring some comfort to her as she dies
we need to comfort those who are dying and we need to comfort those
in very practical ways who are around that person who was dying
that's why we do meal assistance for people
just one less thing for them to think about
will bring them
and we're really good when we bring them a meal it will feed him for three days
practical assistance we all need practical assistance
we need to minister to others and practical way
what does
Paul say to Timothy
tender care
nobody needs tender care more
than those who are dying
we also need a fortified them with our emotional support
now if you can't be there physically
I can guarantee you'll never be there emotionally
and I know people who are physically present who are not really emotionally present
because they're still living in denial
They're still living in fear
and the reason we need to emotionally connect with that other person
is a natural way that God created us is when we get near-death there's almost always a
point
where the person dying goes wait a minute
wait a minute
I'm dying
and they get a little terror in a little fear in a little worried
isn't as though they don't believe in eternity they do
but the natural survival instinct with within all of us kind of causes that to happen and right
in that moment
what they need is they need to
borrow the faith of someone else
they need someone else to say you know it's okay to be afraid but you need to remember
your life
is in God's hands and he loves you
most of us are not afraid of dying
We're afraid of how we're going to die
Tom passed away a few weeks ago I visited him in the hospital and
and
the privilege I get is I get to have the conversation with people about how they're
feeling about their death
and to really have that conversation
you've got to emotionally be present
that's one of the
actually one of the most tiring things of being a pastor
is being emotionally present
when people are dying
as you know you can't fake that they know
they know whether you're connecting with them emotionally or whether you're just doing
your business as a pastor
and as Tom and I
Talked he said man I'm not afraid to die in fact I'm a little excited about it
he says but what
what just strikes fear in me is I'm afraid of how I'm going to die
Isn't that all of us
I
you know if I die, great
but I want to go from here to there like that
I don't want to hang around a long time
in the process
and I was able to tell Tom don't worry just a close your morphine
and you will either
uh...
lose consciousness or go to sleep and never wake up again that's how he passed away
we have to realize that we must be emotionally present for other people
carry each others burdens
and if your honest about it you don't want to carry anybody else's burdens you've got enough of
Your own
but yet were called to carry the emotional as well as the practical burdens
of other people
they need that and frankly we need to do that ourselves wheat we need that
we should be willing to open up the conversation with the person who is dying
and the question that we should often asked
is how are you really
feeling
now we don't want
ask that question because we're afraid what's going to come out
but I'm the one that routinely gets to ask that question
I'll say how do you really feel
about it
are you afraid
are you worried
feel guilty
how do you really feel
And to ask a person who's dying
how they are really feel that's connection
they're looking for
and frankly if you can ask that question
and not go like this when they start to give us the answer
then you know that you're really emotionally present with that other person
you'll know that you've really processed your denial about death
because if you haven't
you'll you won't want to ask that question
he'll talk about the weather you'll asked him about the food
you'll even ask him what the doctor said but you will not look them in the eye and say
how do you really feel
how are you really doing
but that's what a dying person desires
someone to really ask them
a person's thoughts are like a water in a deep well
but someone with insight can draw them out
we don't want to plummeted deep well of death because we're afraid we're going to fall in
and we're so worried about falling in
that we can't draw
the thoughts
and the feelings
And the fears
Of someone who's dying
we need to remember that the family members have needs to interviewed one person
on this a couple of weeks ago
and I said okay if I say one thing in my message what do you want me to say
and they told me this they said
when I was in the room
after my loved one died
everybody talked about them
and I felt as though I was invisible
is it interesting
they're the ones that lost love one and no one is talking to them
no one's caring for them
no one's being present with them no one's asking them
how you really feel and I know why we don't ask it because we know they don't feel good
they feel grief they feel lost
they feel depression they feel denial
and I've been at the side of people when someone has tragically died
in almost to the person
the family members that are there are in denial
they have a hard time grabbing ahold of that reality
and in that moment and then the moments that follow they need emotional connection from
someone else
each of you should look to the needs of others
and wow when it's around death where look it out for our own needs
our own emotions
our own fears
and as we processed those then and get a handle on them now we're ready to really help someone
else
and then finally and this is not last
for any other reason because this is the last thing that you'll remember I say and that
is
turn them to Jesus
turned them to Jesus
Acts four twelve says
that there is no other name given in all of heaven
that can bring salvation
only Jesus Christ
and the great thing about God as you can be on your deathbed and you can convert right
there
you can be on your deathbed and you can say
Lord
I've run from you my whole life I want you to be the leader of my life and God is gracious
enough
to grant that
prayer
now that person's missed out their whole life
the great blessings and benefits
of having Jesus Christ be the leader of their life but God will not turn away anyone
who is willing to confess him as savior and Lord even
if it's the next to the last breath they ever breathe
what I try to remind those that are dying
is Psalm twenty three four
you are now walking through the
dark valley of death
and you should not fear because God is always with you
you see when we die and go to heaven we don't go alone
the Bible says
Jesus is the one
who walks us from here
To there and the proof of that
is being around people who
who are going to die in the matter of
moments
they often have one foot in heaven
and one foot here
and they share all sorts of observations feelings conversations
that's one of ways I know
heaven exists because I've seen people with one foot there one-foot here
carrying on conversations with people in heaven
waking up for a moment and saying you know it's true
I've just been there
and now I'm going there forever
a person who is dying someone who around them has suffered death
that person needs help
they need us to be
The helping
hands and arms
emotions
the support
the encouragement that they need
the great truth of the gospel is that
no one should fear death
God did not create us to fear death fear is something that sin is brought into this world
God does love you any has a plan for your life and that means
this life as well as eternal life
let's pray
Lord Jesus I'm thankful that you surround us
with your presence
Lord for those of us that
are grieving this morning because this has brought back a lot of feelings and memories
of the death of a loved one
Lord I ask that your
caring and
comforting hand would be upon them Lord
those that we know that are represented by those in this room
uh... that are in the process of dying Lord I ask that year hand of comfort and care would
be upon them
and Lord we are exceedingly grateful for
the reality of heaven
that although you've wired us with an intrinsic fear and denial
of our mortality, our death
because of your death
we need to fear no longer Amen
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