Several years ago I read a pamphlet that quoted the dying words of various people who did not profess faith in Jesus Christ. The English atheist Thomas Hobbes said, “I am taking a fearful leap into the dark!” The French infidel Voltaire cried out, “I am abandoned by God and man; I shall go to hell!” Sir Francis Newport wailed in anguish, “Oh, eternity, eternity forever and forever! Oh, the unsufferable pangs of hell!”

What a sobering contrast to the last words of people who knew and loved Christ as their Lord and Savior. Dwight L. Moody said, “This is glorious! Earth recedes; heaven is opening; God is calling me!” Sir David Brewster declared, “I will see Jesus—see Him as He is. I have had the light for many years. Oh, how bright it is! I feel so safe, so satisfied!” And these words from a man being burned at the stake: “Blessed be the time that ever I was born for this day. We shall not lose our lives in this fire,” he said to his fellow martyrs, “but only change them for something better.”

Child of God, even if physical pain and heartache are a part of our closing days, the heavenly Father will give us dying grace. When we pass through that dark valley, we need not fear. The Great Shepherd will be with us.