“Oh that I might have my request, and that God would fulfill my hope, that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!” Job 6: 8-9
My husband and I are scheduled to minister today out of town. Laying in my hotel room at 4am I woke up upset. Why? Because I woke up! This is the third time I’ve prayed and asked God to please take me to Heaven. He keeps ignoring me. Death feels like a welcome friend. I will never commit suicide, never ever. But if the rapture doesn’t come soon, I’m ok with God taking me home. Why? Because I am tired of daily chronic pain!
Is my desire a heinous sin against the Author of life? Am I the only believer who thinks this way?
I decided to go through the hall of faith to see if I am alone in my request.
God has heard such petitions before. For different reasons, at different times, from different pits, men and women of God have prayed to be taken away. And the prayers we find in Scripture don’t just come from normal saints like us, but from the ones we would least expect to struggle in this life: leaders and heroes of God’s people.
- Moses (Weary Leader): “If you will treat me like this, kill me at once.” Numbers 11:15
- Jonah (Angry Messenger): “Please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah 4:3
- Elijah (Fearful Prophet): “Elijah was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life. . . And he asked that he might die, saying, ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.’” 1 Kings 19:3-4
- Paul (Eager Apostle): “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.” Phillippians 1:23
Job’s well-known trial just wipes me out! The Lord denied Job’s request. He had more compassion to give, more mercy, more communion, even more children waiting for Job on the other side of his heartache. Job couldn’t imagine how his life might turn out to glorify God’s grace. As James summarizes, “You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” James 5:11
If you have asked God to take your life as I have, let the above examples scream at you as they did with me. One of the truths to realize is that you (we) are not alone!
God wants me (us) to press into his presence and wait patiently before his throne. He’s calling us to come before him with thanksgiving, even if we’re still waiting on a promise. Since I am still alive, God is reminding me through scripture that, “You will not die, you will live long and fulfill God’s assignment for your life.” So I guess I may as well pray for healing on this side and stand and endure until He sees fit to take me home!
Some sufferers may not find comfort in the fairy-tale ending of Job, but his renewed fortunes are only a glimpse of what awaits us when we meet Christ. We have to continue believing and continue trusting. This dark night is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory
2 Corinthians 4:17.