Somehow the topic of death was once again broached last night, and something came up I'd like to address today. (Seriously, though. This stuff is beginning to follow me around everywhere.) Someone made the comment they were fine alive and they'd be fine dead, but dying itself wasn't all that appealing. To quote Isaac Asimov, biochemist and grandmaster of science fiction, "Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome."
The transition seems to be the scary part, to be sure. What does it feel like to die? What if it's a quick death? What about a protracted period of dying, a battle for every last breath? No one who knows is telling, and that makes us fear death for the same reason we feared the darkness when we were children: we're scared of the unknown. We can't know what dying is like or how it feels, and that frightens us.
It shouldn't, though -- we know what comes afterwards, regardless of how we get there. Yes, death is an enemy, but there's also the promise of Isaiah 57:2: "Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death." Death means rest, rest at long last. There is peace in Abraham's bosom, a Savior and God waiting for us once we leave this life for the next one. That we do know. And this is what truly matters.
I can't promise you a clean death. I can't say you will die without pain and struggle. Dying is an unknown to us all, and nothing can change that. For the believer in Christ Jesus, however, it's a process that ends in rest, peace, and the loving arms of a heavenly Father.