I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. (ESV)
Paul is speaking further about this conundrum he faces as he considers his future. He knows that as a Roman prisoner he has a high likelihood of execution. Yet, he knows that the believers in Philippi are praying for his release. He is not at all concerned about dying. Rather, he prefers it. He knows that the moment he leaves this earth he will be with Christ and there is nothing better than that.
I am reminded of a humorous moment when Dr. John MacArthur was critiquing the book written by Joel Osteen, Your Best Life Now. MacArthur remarked that if this is your best life now then you are going to hell. His point being that our best life is not the one we are currently living. Rather, the best life is the one that is eternally spent with Christ.
Because this world is all that we have as yet experienced we seem to think as death as terrible and sad. Yet, for the believer in Jesus Christ, it means being with the one who loves us more than all of our loved ones in this world. I have often wondered if Lazarus was annoyed when Jesus rose him from the dead. It was a great miracle, but he was taken away from heaven!
Paul speaks of his desire. His desire is to be with Christ. What is your desire? Do you long to be consumed with as much as this world has to offer? Or do you look to being with Christ as the best life you could have?