A Visit with Pops

Philippians 1:21 For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

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Every time Brenda and I visited Bruce in the hospital there was a sense that Christ was present. It is hard to describe the atmosphere in his room without accounting for that. Everyone he met knew he was a follower of Jesus. We were there when his doctor explained they were going to disconnect the defibrillator and that his time was short. Bruce told him, “You don’t decide when I die. Only God does that. Whether I wake in bed or next to Jesus I win.”

Bruce was a living example of Philippians 1:21. He understood that the statement had two parts as follows:

For me to live is… You can fill in the blank with whatever you like. To live is to party, to have wealth, to have whatever. The second part relies on the first and if the first is anything but Christ, then to die is loss. Bruce would have told you without Jesus there is no hope.

It was Bruce’s prayer that all would come to understand, and he prayed fervently for those who did not get it. To live is Christ, to die is gain.

There is a paradox in this statement because we wish him here with us and yet we would not want to take him away from his home in glory. Bruce, we miss you and you deserve your reward. Well done good and faithful servant.

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