A little while back, I had a nightmare.
I dreamed that I was wanted by the police for something I didn’t do. I didn’t fully understand what was going on, but to protect my family, I had to go into hiding alone. I had to completely disappear.
So I lived in the woods. I wasn’t sure how much time had passed. It didn’t seem like too long – maybe a month.
But the worst part of the dream was when I learned, after running into an old friend, that it had actually been a whole year since I went into hiding!
A year! A year that my family didn’t know where I was, or how I was doing! And I couldn’t tell them… I couldn’t tell them that I was okay. I couldn’t tell them that I missed them too. Thanksgiving and Christmas had come and gone, and I’d missed it.
But the toughest part was thinking about how hard it must have been for my family. To know everything they were going through, was devastating to me. And there was nothing I could do to alleviate their pain.
. . .
Why are we afraid to die?
We know where we’re going. We know it’s going to be amazing. In fact, it’s going to be so great, that based on how we experience this world, we don’t even have the capacity to think up how truly incredible Heaven will really be.
We do have some hints. In Revelation, God tells us that He will wipe away every tear. And that there won’t be any more pain. No more mourning. No more death.
But just imagine, being in our final destination. With God. God, who created us, and who knows exactly what gives us true satisfaction and fulfillment. And who loves us and is pleased with us. To live in that beautifully bizarre world, I am unable to picture how wonderful it will be.
And yet, death can be an uneasy topic. We don’t want to think about it. We postpone making wills and estate plans. We’re hesitant to create advance directives and have hard conversations.
If we understand that where we’re headed is infinitely better than where we are, why are we afraid of death?
I think it’s because we love our people. We care deeply about our family and our friends. And while you (the dying party) may never have to go without them, they’re going to have to go without you, if only for a time.
It’s devastating to think about our spouses going through life without us. Our kids becoming motherless and fatherless. Grandchildren losing their grandparents.
No matter what steps you take to make your final affairs easier on your family, they’re still going to have to live on without you. And that’s a sad thought.
Are we faithless? No. Are we scared? No. We just love our people, and it hurts us to think about them hurting.
So what? What can we do?
Unlike Heaven, this world is full of death and loneliness, and we’ll have to continue to endure it for the remainder of our time here. We’re helpless in this regard.
But we can encourage our loved ones in this truth:
Although it hurts for a time, no goodbye is permanent for those who are in Christ Jesus. We will see each other again. And we’ll have all the “time” in the world.
One response to “Are We Afraid to Die?”
I had a personal encounter with Christ on top of Lung Mung Mountain in China twelve years ago and it was the most fantastic experience. Now I know where I am going and what to expect when arriving there. A place well worth looking forward to going so death hold no fear.
From experiencing watching many elders die all around me over the past decade the lessons learnt is that those who walk with Christ die peacefully no matter what the circumstances.
Those who dance with the devil are terrified of death because they know they are going to Hell.