Have you ever questioned the phrasing “called to the arms of the Lord” when it is written in obituaries? It troubles me when I read the words for they imply it is God’s will for a person to die, which I don’t believe is possible.
God promotes life, not death. Death happens in the human experience, but not at God’s bidding. God is our Life, and the divine design is to save us from death and disease, not capitulate us to them.
When I read in my local newspaper that Reba Denton, a woman I don’t know, had been “called to the arms of the Lord” after she died of cancer, I stopped reading and issued a mental revision. “She had been in the arms of the Lord all along,” I affirmed, “as a dear child of God. She had never left God’s care to be returned.”
“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death,” the Bible tells us. In the big picture scheme of eternal salvation, death is not a friend but an enemy, to be overcome by eternal life. God calls us to understand this truth better now so we can more successfully overcome disease here on earth and prevent unfortunate passings.
Life is God’s will, not death.