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.
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If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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