Threescore and Ten

As time passes, I find myself increasingly drawn to old authors and old books. I scour the used bookshops to look for lost treasures. At the back of one such nineteenth-century work I found this old poem by Edward Morris. I don’t know who Edward Morris was or when he lived, but I’m grateful for the sweet poem he left us, a poem which celebrates the days so many lament—the days when life has grown long and death draws near. …

For the Christian Who Is Afraid To Die

There is little we can know scientifically about what happens after we die. There are no experiments we can carry out that offer conclusive evidence of what happens when the eyes close for the final time, when the heart at last stops beating. We know, of course, that the body will immediately begin to decline and decay, but what of the consciousness, what of the soul, what of that part of a person that makes him what he most truly …

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Grief Should Always Make Us Better

Death is the great interrupter. Death is the great interrupter because, far more often than not, it strikes when it’s least expected. When death comes it invariably interrupts plans, dreams, projects, goals. One author observes how very sad, how very pathetic it is, when a man dies suddenly and we go into his home or his place of business “and see the unfinished things he has left—a letter half written, a book half read, a picture begun but not completed. …

Goodnight Till Then

“Mr. Challies, we want you to know that we have received Nick into our care. Rest assured that he is in the very best of hands.” The message comes as a relief, for it means that Nick’s long, last, lonely journey is complete. Even if he can’t come home, he has at least arrived back in his own country, back in his own town. It is not as we hoped. It is not as we imagined. But it is as …

The Funeral for My Son, Nick Challies

On Saturday, November 21, 2020, we will be holding the funeral service for my dear son, Nick. Because the entirety of my family and the majority of Nick’s friends are in America, and because the borders between our two countries are functionally closed, we will be live-streaming the service. Those who did not know him are welcome to watch as well. I have created a page you can bookmark and visit at the time of the funeral to find the …

If God Did It, It Must Be Good. Right?

“The sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which the child of God rests his head at night, giving perfect peace.” So said the inimitable Charles Spurgeon. Or did he? He might have said, “When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head.” Or maybe he said both, or maybe he said something halfway between. Either way, it’s clear that in Spurgeon’s dark hours he found comfort in a particular …

On Running a Short Race Well

Each of us is given a race to run. Some are called to run a long race. Some are called to run a short race. What matters is not how long our race is, but how well we run it. It’s God’s business to determine how long we run; it’s our business to determine how well we run. It is so much better to run a short race well than a long race poorly. God called my son Nick to …

My Son, My Dear Son, Has Gone To Be With the Lord

In all the years I’ve been writing I have never had to type words more difficult, more devastating than these: Yesterday the Lord called my son to himself—my dear son, my sweet son, my kind son, my godly son, my only son. Nick was playing a game with his sister and fiancée and many other students when he suddenly collapsed, never regaining consciousness. Students, paramedics, and doctors battled valiantly, but could not save him. He’s with the Lord he loved, …

A Casket and a Bible

We have entered into an age in which many people are leaving behind their printed Bibles in favor of digital equivalents. On one level that’s of no great concern. After all, people are not leaving behind the Bible altogether, but merely exchanging one medium for another. If Paul could say, “Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice,” surely we can say, “only that in every way, whether through …

On Cracking the Code

It’s a recurring theme in current events. Every few weeks, as I scour the headlines, I see yet another story about someone who is sure he has cracked the code. He has hacked the human body in such a way that he will live an unusually long life. He has come up with just the right diet, just the exercise regime, just the right concoction, just the right invention. He will reverse, or at least hold off, the effects of …