I'm afraid of dying.
I said it.
One of the Christian "unmentionables." Because it's one of those *dirty little secrets* we’re not supposed to talk about. At least that's how I feel about it. As believers, we're not supposed to be afraid of death, right? We know where we're going, and we know why.
As believers, we have tremendous hope.
We believe in the One who is Life Himself. Nothing else can threaten us, nothing else should matter.
I am still afraid.
Maybe not of death – but of dying.
I've had a recent health scare – and the possibility of something serious reared its ugly head. Yes, I'll be the first one to admit that I am a worrywart. It is my *thorn in the flesh*. So, of course, I tend to immediately hop on board the "What If Train" and travel rapidly to the worst-case destination.
But, this problem had the potential to be – well, serious. Testing and waiting ensued. And spiritual warfare was engaged.
So, when I was in the mountains camping, many things were still unknown, still unresolved. And I found myself tackling the *dying issue* again. I begged the Lord to speak to me.
And, He did.
It occurred to me that I love the fact that the Lord walks with me – in my shoes, so to speak. But in the mountains, I heard Him say that He wanted me to walk in His shoes for a bit. To feel what He might have felt about dying.
So, here's the things I thought about –
Jesus, did You know when You were going to die? When You began Your ministry at 30 years old, did You know that You were going to die only three years later? Did You know You were going to die young? Or did that knowledge only come to You later – was it revealed at a later point in Your ministry?
"Lord, did You worry that You weren't finishing Your work?"
Were You like me, worried that I might die at a relatively young 57 years old – and feeling woefully short of accomplishing all that I’m "supposed" to do?
Jesus, did You worry about the disciples – about how they would get along without You? Did You doubt that God could care for them without Your presence? Were You concerned that their lives would fall apart without You?
"Lord, did You worry about the ones you were leaving behind?"
Were You like me, so very concerned about my husband, my family, my sons – about how it would hurt them, dismay them, confuse them if I died? Did You worry how they would get along without You? Did You want to spare them the torture of watching You die?
Jesus, did You feel the fear of death – the great unknown? Because it was unknown to You, too…
"Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die…" (Hebrews 2:14)
Jesus, did You ever wonder if You really were going to live again? Did You have a passing doubt about Your resurrection?
"Lord, did You ever have those moments when the enemy whispered lies to You?"
Were You like me, wondering if God's promises can be trusted?
In Ecclesiastes, Solomon called death "that obligation, that dark battle." I see that – it's the hardest battle of all. To let go of breath, to let go of the only life we've known…
Jesus, did You ever try to hold on to life?
Were You like me?
Whatever Jesus felt in the Garden of Gethsemane – and I have a feeling that He had quite a spiritual battle – He ended up with determination and peace.
At the end of it all, He was stilled in His heart.
I hear the question again:
"Sharon, is it really just Me? Do you love Me more – even more – than your own life? More than this tired old earth?"
"Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was." (Romans 6:5)
"Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying." (Hebrews 2:15)
Jesus, set me free…
(Test results are in - and I'm OK. Praise God. But, I know this won't be my last battle on this front. However, God is at work - and I am learning to trust Him more...)
BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"