Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. —Genesis 25:8
These are the years of the life of Ishmael: 137 years. He breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people. —Genesis 25:17
And Isaac breathed his last, and he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. —Genesis 35:29
When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people. —Genesis 49:33
For the believer, death is the moment between our last breath of air and our first glimpse of gathering.
Breathing stops; gathering begins. Death is but a sliver of time somewhere in between. It’s the flimsy finish line ribbon stretched across the track.
Yet, I dwell on death. I order my life around prolonging the plunge toward the tissue paper. I pop vitamins. I rain down my sweat drops onto public treadmills. I wear out hundred dollar sneakers. I play it sinfully safe, in ways I’m not even aware. The very thought of risk-taking is paralyzing. Death, to a degree, is dominating me when I do these things.
In my fixation on death, I am forgetting the gathering. The reunion. The culmination that comes after I breathe my last, and push my chest effortlessly through, to be welcomed by the throng of those who have gone before.
I need to change my perspective.
Believers, will you join me in dwelling on the gathering rather than the ribbon? We are foolish when we let it preoccupy us. It has been promised: death does not sting, and the gathering will be glorious.