‘And Death Shall Be No More’

An update on my situation:

Apologies for nothing new appearing here, but lately all my time has been taken up trying to be at my wife’s side while she spends her final days and hours in a hospital bed. In her latest extended stay in hospital(s) she has been there around 18 days so far. Those days when I am home alone help prepare me for when this will always be the case. So I am being prepared for what is about to come.

Her year and a half-long battle with cancer is now just about over as she prepares to be with her beloved Jesus and to experience those marvellous words found in Revelation 21:4: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” What an amazing promise!

It has been a long hard battle for her, myself and the family. If you believe in the power of prayer, as we do, and in a God who is too wise to make a mistake, and too loving to be unkind, we would appreciate your prayers for us during this difficult period. I will write up more about all this when it comes to its end point.

I know many other people are going through their own hard struggles as well. But in all these cases, we have a God who is not unfamiliar with suffering nor aloof from it. Jesus is even known as the “Suffering Servant” (Isaiah 53). So God knows exactly what we are going through, and he shares in our world of suffering, just as in a sense we share in his world of suffering.

And this helps us to be of help to others. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Thanks for your prayers and understanding.

[433 words]

61 Replies to “‘And Death Shall Be No More’”

  1. Dear Bill. Praying that the Lord’s comfort and peace be with you and your wife during this difficult time. I know exactly what it’s like, as my own dear 1st wife went to be with the Lord in Oct 2020, with lung cancer.

  2. Bill. Thanks for the update – you have both been in my prayers.

  3. Dear Bill,
    Many saints are praying for you and your dear wife.

    The LORD bless you and keep you; 
    the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 
    the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.( 

    (Num 6:24-26)

  4. Thank you for allowing us to join you and Averil in your journey both of suffering and of comfort. I have indeed felt some of what you feel as I share your journey, I have ctried many years with you and my heart is heavy with grief, of course it is but a miniscule amount of suffering compared to what you and Averil and the boys are going through, but on the flipside, I have also felt such a strong presence of God at times and a unity with the other praying saints l, friends and family from around the world that it’s hard to put into words. It is at times like this that my faith is increased and I know what it truly is to be a Christian and a part of the body of Christ. God bless you and your darling and your darling boys – it is a privilege to be with you all on this journey.
    Love you, Riss.

  5. Dear Bill, what an honour to love faithfully your beautiful wife until death parts you on this earth. We all will take this path, unless the Lord rerurns first, but Averill is so blessed to have you with her to the end of this life on earth. Oh, how I wonder at the treasures in store for us in glory and Averill is nearly there save for a miracle of healing. Just like the bread is broken after the blessing, suffering is part of the blessings of Christ in this world only and so I pray the Lord will strengthen you both in this time and akways. Praying. Love ANITA

  6. I am praying for you and Averil. May He surround you both with His favour, like a shield.

  7. Dear Bill , the Lord is giving you the strength to keep on pushing on in these hours of grieve and discomfort in the knowledge of Averil’s suffering.
    You are very courageous to keep up even at this hour to stay in touch with your readers . May I share with you that I believe that this is one of the finest moments in your outreach to witness to those that do know know the Lord Jesus . As The Lord God told Joshua to be Strong and Courageous, so also you step out in faith .

  8. I’m so sorry
    I know exactly what you are going through
    I likewise spent all of my wife’s last months, weeks, days caring for her as she passed to Jesus from lung failure caused by the toxic cancer treatments she received over a period of 10 years
    It is so difficult watching your beloved wife pass but some of the sting is taken off knowing she will soon be in His Presence, and as scripture you cited clearly promises NO MORE SUFFERING
    And I say only some of the sting because her absence will weigh heavily on you
    That’s been my experience anyway
    At best you’ll tolerate the days and worse, the nights, without her
    Some days it will be intolerable
    I’m still in kindergarten learning to be content without my wife, 8 years now
    Lean in and on Jesus

  9. Dear Bill, I am so sorry to hear that your wife, Averil, is stricken with cancer. I will pray for you and your beloved wife at this terrible time, with much love. Rachel

  10. Praying for you and family …Thank you for your writings on Suffering ..we have been ministering lately from 1 Peter …May the comfort from the Holy Spirit be your portion

  11. Hi Bill, Averil and extended family, looking forward one day, to fellowship in Glory with Jesus and you all.

    Thank you for your vulnerability sharing your deepest thoughts, love & fear with us all so openly!

    Much appreciated couple…

    Love and blessings always,

    Eric & family

  12. Dear Bill,
    While we might have differences over some issues, your devoted and faithful love to your wife has been inspirational and heartwrenching to witness over this time- especially as I am going through something almost identical with my beloved husband of fifty years, now in the end stages of prostate cancer himself. It isn’t only the value of a loving and faithful wife that is beyond rubies- the same applies to loving and faithful husbands as well. Both are gifts from our Lord and Saviour. And one day, when they have passed from this veil of tears, we shall be reunited with them and never parted again. I will pray for you and your wife at this painful time.

  13. My heart and prayers are with you during this hugely difficult time. May God’s assurance be with you all. God bless.

  14. May the LORD give you and your family peace that passes all understanding and may He comfort you all during this time.

  15. We will be praying for you and your family that our loving God will give you great comfort and strength at such a difficult time.

  16. Dear Bill, may you both feel God’s presence more than ever at this time. Lean on Him.

  17. I find it hard to know what words can best bring you comfort right now, Bill. So many others have said so much so beautifully and eloquently – I agree with and echo them all. I love the verse in Job chapter 2 where Job’s friends first turned up to comfort him – they said nothing to start with –

    “… they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.”

    I feel much like that. I cannot find adequate words but I can ‘sit in the dust’ alongside. One part of the body suffers and we all suffer with it. Bless you and Averil and the boys.

  18. Bill:
    Quite aside from the theology, such a harsh, harsh time. I have tried to face the possibility twice, with my wife. I could not truly accept the reality. Even my own life ending, ever closer. All I can imagine is, that all beyond that door may be so much better reality.
    But right now, we suffer incredible devastation. How could I say ‘goodbye forever this life’ to my life companion. God! Life is immensely hard! So many billions have gone through it, the worst part farewelling the perner, only a little less the terror of one’s own final. But, to face it now, alone: God, how lonely.

    I weep for you, Bill. I’ll pray as best I can. Nothing can be said. Faith alone, and broken heart.

  19. Sorry to hear about your wife Bill. I will be praying for her. I will be praying for God to heal her and I will be praying for you and the rest of your family during this difficult and unpleasant time. God bless you your wife and the rest of your family and all the best.

    Regards John

  20. Dear Bill, How amazing you are as you suffer you still find time for your readers.
    My prayers go out to your beautiful wife, sons and yourself that you will find comfort from Revelation 21: 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” What an encouragement. Amen

  21. Dear Bill, thank you…in your pain, you share comfort for others. The Lord bless you and yours.
    Ron Adams

  22. O Brother in Christ,

    Tears and groanings for you and your family. May our Heavenly Father strengthen and comfort you especially during this time. With Love & anticipation of Christ’s return…

  23. Dear Bill, I’m so very sorry to learn about your dear wife. May God bless you both and be with you, now and always.


  24. Dear Bill and Averill,

    Although we have never met yet, reading your blog Bill over these last 10 years has given me some small relationship with you. I trust in that sense my love and prayers help you both in this trying time in some way.

    If indeed it is the LORD’S will that Averill goes to be with her Saviour Jesus Christ sometime soon, then LORD Jesus I pray for your peace and your truth – the only truth – that we all, including Bill and Averill, know so well, would envelop them both. And if Averill is to stay here and be healed, then I pray the same too.

    My love and my family’s love, in Christ, be with you both and your wider family at this trying time.


  25. Thanks so much each one of you.

    Between 1am and 2am on Wednesday July 5, 2023 Averil slipped into heaven. Really glad news and really sad news. She has suffered a lot – but Jesus has loved her a lot. Bless you Averil – I love you.

  26. Hi Bill
    Saddened to hear this news. May Averil has already heard the words ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant”

    Deut 33:27
    The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.

  27. Dear Bill, and your wider family. You are all in our prayers. While we have a certainty about Jesus’s promises to us all, including your dear wife Averil, the pain and loss, for now in this life, is real. I’m reminded by Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.

    I imagine you and other family members and friends will be preparing for Averil’s funeral or my apologies if something different will take place. You are truly in our thoughts here in Auckland, New Zealand.

    What a testament Averill is to the Christian walk of following Jesus. God bless you all.

    Matthew and family.

  28. My heart breaks for you and your family Bill
    Your wife had woken up in heaven.
    Praying God sustain you and keep you Bill
    Love and prayers

  29. Dear Bill,

    I’m at a loss for words at the passing of your dear Averil.

    Please accept my deepest condolences.

    May God comfort and bless you and your sons at this difficult time.

    Some words of comfort from the final chapter of John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress”:

    “I see myself now at the end of my journey; my toilsome days are ended. I am going to see that head which was crowned with thorns, and that face which was spit upon for me. I have formerly lived by hearsay and faith; but now I go where I shall live by sight, and shall be with Him in whose company I delight myself.”

    May it be so for Averil.

    With deepest sympathy on your family’s loss,

  30. You and your family are in all of our thoughts and prayers as you navigate the next steps following Averil’s journey to heaven where there is no more pain, tears and suffering. You will miss her physical presence with you, but take great comfort in knowing that she sees Jesus face to face now and will be there to welcome you one day.

  31. Oh, Bill.
    I am so sorry to hear this sad news. While your beloved Averil is in Heaven now, with our Heavenly Father and His angels, you are bereft of her love, companionship and counsel until you join her in Paradise. I’m sure that Averil would want you to take the next step after you’ve gotten over the obvious grief and heartbreak you must feel now as her husband and perhaps reflect and write a book on your experiences of illness and palliative care, how bravely and courageously your dear Averil endured it and your reflections on your Christian walk during this painful time. Please, though- if that is your decision, give yourself time to grieve and be healed by our Lord and Saviour’s outpouring of love and know that you are loved and treasured. I only hope I display as much courage and determination as you do when I have to say goodbye to my own life’s love, my own precious Ernest. I will certainly pray for you and your family at this time.

  32. Blessings in this very hard time. I understand much more that I would want to. When I lost my beloved wife two years ago, I said then what I yet say. I will see her again. It will be in a better place and circumstance.

    The tears will all be gone one day. In the meanwhile, as I said previously; I will pray for you and you can do the same for me.

  33. Very sad to hear this news Bill. You and your family will be in our prayers and may the Lord continue to strengthen you all during this time.

  34. To Bill Muehlenberg & Family

    We love you and we too share your grief at the passing of Averil,
    amazing woman, loving wife, and wonderful mother to three sons.

    “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff,
    they comfort me.”
    Psalm 23:4

    Be assured of our prayers and our continued support and love.

    From Warwick & Alison Marsh and Kym & Nel Farnik
    Love & Blessings From the whole Canberra Declaration family.

  35. Hi Bill, I often read your articles and I am very enlightened by the contents.

    I wish to pass on my condolences after the passing of your dear wife. Stay strong and courageous during this difficult time in your life.

  36. Condolences to you Bill and may the comfort of the Holy Spirit be with you

  37. Hi Bill, So very sorry to hear of Averil’s passing, yes she has gone to a far better place. I will hold you and your family in prayer at this very difficult time. May the Lord comfort you all.

  38. Dear Bill,
    So sorry to hear the sad news. May God comfort you and your family and grant you peace at this difficult time. Thank you for your words of comfort even while you were going through such great suffering yourself. God bless you heaps.

  39. Hi Bill, thank you for being a faithful servant of the Lord and our prayers for you and your family during this difficult time

  40. So sorry for your loss Bill. Not easy at all. May God continue to strengthen you and all the family at this time. Such a relief God has more in store for us than just this life!

  41. Dear Bill
    May every comfort be with you and your family. Those words from Revelation are the ones that bring supreme longing for a state that is without the pain of loss.

    Your words helped me as I am also facing the loss of my 32 year relationship with my husband. Going home to an empty house whilst he’s in respite care is the hardest thing.

    God bless you and yours richly.

  42. Bill, love, best wishes, and prayers for you at this special time.

  43. Sending love and prayers for you and your family Bill… Praying peace,comfort and solitude be your shield and strength through this difficult time…Love and blessings .Liz

  44. Dear Bill & family, so sorry for the loss of your wife & mother. May you know the closeness & comfort of our Saviour, Lord & King, closer than a brother, throughout this difficult time. We rejoice in the hope of our Saviour & the promise of life eternal with Him.
    Abundant blessings, Kerrie

  45. May God our Father support you through your grief. Thank you for letting us share this journey with you.

  46. So sad to hear of the passing of your wife. May the God of comfort walk you the journey of grief.

  47. Dear Bill, I know of the pain you will be feeling as our middle son, Brent, aged 50, died seven weeks ago. Amazingly, a few weeks before he died, he started to listen to his brother’s sermons by live streaming and made a clear statement of faith to my wife two weeks before he passed away. His death was completely unexpected. I had prayed for his salvation every day for 25 years. Our great God hears every prayer and is faithful. The pain of his loss is enormous, but the joy of his salvation is great.

  48. Dear Bill,
    Together with Adrienne I feel a deep sadness at your loss of the lovely Averil. Adrienne and Averil and you have been friends for such a long time now.
    We are thinking of you and your sons at this hard time.
    Our love to you all.

  49. May our dear Lord comfort you and your family as only He knows how to do, both now and in the days to come.

  50. Sorry to hear about your wife’s passing Bill. Thank you for your Faithfulness and her Faithfulness over the years. May God continue to sustain you and may you be able to continue to serve him within the capacity you now have.

  51. Dear Bill, our sincere sympathy to you and your family for the loss of Averil. We agree with your thoughts on her passing and knowing she is in God’s hands. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. We also include a saying by R.L. Stevenson which you might have heard and which we find comforting,.
    “Give us strength to encounter that which is to come that we may be brave in peril, consistent in tribulation, patient in all changes of life and, down to the gates of death, loyal and loving to one another.

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