The Fear Of Death
Everyone experiences death at least once in their life. Death and taxes are the only sure things in life. You can't take it with you. It was their time.
Such are some of the things we speak about when we consider the subject of death. Probably the number one reason that people despise death is because they cannot control it, and it is coming their way.
As a Christian, we are taught that we do not need to fear death because if we are faithful to God, we will be taken to a better place. Those who are not Christians can definitely fear death because their end is the beginning of eternal destruction and torment. Many people do not believe in God, and death is the final act of any life, and thus it brings their pitiful existence into an unknown void. Perhaps we do not consider our own death enough. Let's face it, it is a very unpopular subject. We are faced with it when people die, and when the doctor tells you that you have a short time to live. Other than that, we ignore the subject as much as possible.
I recently considered my death because of a radio talk show I was listening to where the host asked everyone to consider their thoughts on dying and death in general. As a person of faith, and one who believes that he is doing his best to be pleasing to God, I considered that I do not fear death. I don't think any Christian should fear death. But one reason many fear death is because they fear the unknown. Will it be painful? Will I be aware of what is happening? Will I see that light at the end of the tunnel? The answer will not come to us until that time arrives, and yes, it is coming for you and me and everyone else.
Even though I do not fear death, I did feel that I fear growing old to the point that I could not control my body or mind. Our bodies fail as we age, and we cannot do the things we did before. We all have loved ones or close friends who have suffered various infirmities associated with old age. We are fearful of the looks of the tiny children as we shuffle along slowly or exhibit shakes in our hands and bodies. We are fearful of people mocking us, making fun of us (usually behind our back) and mimicking the way we walk or use our walkers. We are fearful that people will take advantage of us and steal our money or other possessions. We are fearful of embarrassing ourselves because we could not find the restroom fast enough. We might get some strange looks when we take our teeth out to eat. Oh yeah, the list goes on and on, and it scares us.
Our best hope is that God will allow us to function with some degree of clarity until our time is up.
Something else to consider is in the question: What will I leave behind? Sure there is the matter of the will and the junk that your kids will have to go through. Have you considered them going through your old photographs and realizing those people mean nothing to them, and thus are discarded in the trash pile. The Ecclesiastes writer asked the question about what happens with our possessions when we die. Well, they now belong to someone else and we will have no control over what happens to those things.
Perhaps what should be a great fear is in trying to figure out if people will even miss me when I am gone. Sure, we hope our loved ones will miss us, but will anyone else care about our demise? Perhaps we should examine ourselves to see what kind of impact we have on others. What will be our legacy if there is one?
This is something we should consider today and now. What am I doing that impacts others? Are you being a servant of the Lord? Are you helping people in various ways? Are you teaching your loved ones and friends the value of knowing the Lord and serving Him? Am I doing anything for this church of which I am a member? If I died, would they even care to make an announcement, or come to my funeral?
Have you taken the time to help someone who is struggling with their spirituality? Have you allowed others to fulfill their duty to you? Will people be sad when you die, or indifferent? All of this should help us reflect upon our purpose here in this life, and live it to the fullest. The only way to do that is to keep God as your first and highest priority, and God will appreciate that. Plan to do a good job before you die.
By Carey Scott
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