All flesh is as grass,
And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass.
The grass withers,
And its flower falls away (1 Peter 1:24 NKJV)
Continuing our series on pain and suffering, in this post I want to talk about the fear of dying. Because the fear of dying is another cause of a crushed spirit and suffering.
Asleep At the Wheel And The Consequences
Today I read about a sixteen year old who was driving the family SUV during a trip to Disney World. He fell asleep. He veered off the road to the left into the median. Then he overcorrected to the right and rolled the vehicle. Tragically his mother and father, Michael and Trudi Hardman and three children ages 4, 7, and 15 all died in the crash. This just happened two days ago.
A Most Dangerous Thing You Do Every Day
It’s undeniable that driving is one of the most dangerous activities you engage in. According to the infographic below your risk of dying from driving a car is greater than it is for sky diving or bungee jumping, but we all drive. And we all die.
He Was Terrified
You are going to die. Of course you know that. You know it doesn’t matter how rich, or poor, or famous, or obscure, or strong, or weak anyone might be. It doesn’t matter. We all die. All of us. But it’s something most people push to the back of their consciousness. But you can’t keep it pushed back like that forever. I have a friend named Ben who I once tried to engage in conversation about Jesus, and he became angry and irritated, so I let it go. Fifteen or so years later he became seriously ill. He was dying. A mutual friend saw him as he lay there in the hospital bed. He told me Ben’s eyes were wide with terror. He said Ben was open about it, he was open about being terrified of dying. He talked about the panic welling up inside.
And then he died.
The truth is if you’re one of those people who push the knowledge that life is fragile to the back of your mind, at some time or another, the truth about your dying is going to push it’s way to the front. And if you’re relationship with God isn’t what it should be, like my friend Ben, you’ll find yourself terrified.
Fear Of Dying Can Cause A Crushed Spirit, But There’s A Solution
Fear of dying is another cause of a crushed spirit. Fear of dying is another cause of suffering. But there’s a way to find peace.
To find peace, get right with God. You know your own sin. You know like everyone else you can’t measure up to God’s perfect standards. So if you haven’t already, accept Jesus Christ and what he did to redeem you. He’s your only hope. He’s the only one who can save you. He beat death, so you don’t have to fear it. Give yourself to him. Give yourself to Jesus, and he’ll give you peace.
I wish Ben would have been open to hearing those words. He wasn’t receptive, but you can be.
If you have questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com.
References and Resources:
Tim Keller has an excellent teaching on what the Bible says about the causes of a crushed spirit. You can listen to it here: The Wounded Spirit (HT to my friend Ryan Sample, pastor of Lakeside Family Church, for recommending this teaching.)
Skip Heitzig, Christians in the Crucible of Pain, Connection Communications, 2012
Jim Davis, Why Me? (And Why That’s the Wrong Question), Leafwood, 2014
Steve Mays, Overwhelmed by God, Regal Books, 2014
Jennifer Hensley, Fatal Car Crash Story, KNOE News
Infographic via Best Healthcare Degrees
Reblogged this on Ambling Saint and commented:
Afraid of dying? Why?
Well said Kurt this is an important topic to discuss!
Death is inevitable. Some die young, some die old, and some in the womb. All must die to inherit everlasting life after death, should they choose to accept it.
Daniel tells us:
Dan 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Those who have a relationship with Messiah have no need to fear death, for in death we rest in the heart of the earth from our labors until we are raised to newness of life forever and without a body filled with pain and suffering; how great is that!
Those who fear death don’t really know our Creator personally. They don’t know His book which reveals how to live for Him, how to trust Him in all things, and appreciate all He does for us, even supernaturally protecting us from danger, as well as clothing us and feeding us daily. These persons perhaps don’t wake up in the morning grateful for another day to serve the Master of all living things with the marvelous thought that we are one day closer to His return, either through death or the catching away. And surely these who fear death don’t look forward to seeing His Face and hearing His judgments or rewards when He returns.
We’re all familiar with the phrase, “only the good die young” and evil people seem to be around for decades. I came to the conclusion one day in the congregation that if an evil person lives to be 100 years old, this truly is the mercy of God; He has given that person 100 years to bow to His lordship and accept His forgiveness of sin and salvation.
My brother died when he was nearly 3 yrs old; I was six months old. When I look at the circumstances of his death, I see the mercy of God at work. Our earthly father was an alcoholic and a pedophile; the Almighty allowed that precious child to die only to await the resurrection as a child of the Living God, a child who had neither known sin nor corruption. And I will REJOICE when I see him one day. Because of that incident, my mother, my sister and I left my father’s house and we went to a place of safety for my dad went berserk. I never knew my father; one day when I was seven my Mom took me to see him at the hospital because he was about to die; and it was an agonizing death with cirrhosis of the liver.
The whole matter about dying whether it is young or old reflect’s Job’s words:
Job 1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: Yahweh gave, and Yahweh hath taken away; blessed be the name of Yahweh.
Job 1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged Elohim foolishly.