Bon Voyage

The time of my departure is at hand.2 Timothy 4:6

Paul’s word departure in 2 Timothy 4:6 is freighted with significance. It means “loosing” or “unmooring.” It’s a word he uses again when he sighs, “I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ” (Phil. 1:23).

Departure is a nautical term that suggests “shipping out”—weighing anchor, slipping the lines that tether us to this world and getting underway. It’s a marvelous metaphor for dying.

For believers in Christ, death is not an end but a beginning. It means leaving this old world behind and getting to a better place, completing the purpose for which we were made. It’s a time for joy and excitement and a hearty “Bon Voyage!”

All voyages, however, are fraught with uncertainty, especially those that pass through waters never sailed before. We don’t fear death so much as we do the passage. Who knows what dangers lie ahead?

But the journey is not uncharted. One has taken it before us, and He has returned to bring us safely through. Although we pass through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us all the way (Ps. 23:4). His hands are on the helm as He guides us to the heavenly haven He has prepared for us (John 14:1-3).

Say not it’s a dreadful journey
When the Savior leads the way;
It’s but passing through the shadows
To the land of endless day!


Those who fear God need not fear death.

By David Roper

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