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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"The Death Test"

February 2, 2015

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Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit" -- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." James 4:13-15

The article said that seniors had better "brace themselves."

It was enough to get me to read more.

In short order I was told that some U.S. hospitals are now giving the "death test" to seniors who desire admittance. The death test was invented in Australia and considers 29 different criteria, things like blood pressure, respiratory rate, medical history, to decide whether a patient should be hospitalized, go to hospice, or be sent home to die.

Those who support the use of the test say it has numerous advantages, including

1. it prevents needless and expensive procedures;

2. it may allow people to spend their last days with loved ones;

3. it makes life easier for the hospital staff when they have to break "the bad news."

Well folks, I've taken a look at the test. There can be little doubt that a great deal of thought has gone into producing such a fine, working document. Having done so, I have two questions I would like to have answered:

1. If the test is accurate in its predictions, shouldn't it be given to people of all ages and not just those who have a few years under their belts?

2. Why should the elderly be the only ones who are given the joy of going home to die with loved ones?

Just how accurate are the predictions of the death test? If it's not real, real -- real near to 100 percent -- then I maintain it's probably ... you should excuse the expression, a "dead issue."

Truth is I don't need an "expert" telling me when I'm going to die, especially when there's a good possibility that expert is wrong.

No, I think James had the right idea when he wrote, "... you do not know what tomorrow will bring. ... you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'" Those of us who have been saved by Jesus' sacrifice -- who are sure the Lord is watching over us -- are content to live our days in the Lord's care, letting Him decide their number, and how our actions during those days will glorify Him and be a witness to our neighbors concerning Jesus' love.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, long or short, few or many, let my days be lived out giving praise to You and thanks to my Savior who is blessing me now and forever. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,


Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Today's Bible Readings: Genesis 39-40    Matthew 21:23-46

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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