The Fear of Death – Part 1
“Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. Psalms 39:4
Next time you drive through a tunnel and come out on the other side, remind yourself that’s how death will be for every redeemed child of God. You say ‘good night’ on earth, and hear ‘good morning’ in heaven. Dr Elizabeth Kübler-Ross explained that most of us go through the following stages when we face the prospect of dying: 1) Shock stage: ‘O, my God!’ 2) Denial stage: ‘It can’t be true!’ 3) Anger stage: ‘Why me?’ 4) Bargaining stage: ‘Spare me, God, and I will do something for You.’ 5) Depression stage: ‘It’s all over. I have nothing to look forward to.’ 6) Testing stage: ‘What can I do to make my remaining days worthwhile?’ 7) Acceptance stage: ‘It doesn’t make sense to fight the inevitable.’ The truth is, the moment we were born we all began to run out of time. It’s just that in the wonder and excitement of childhood and adolescence, and the busyness and stresses of mid-life, we don’t think about it much. We’re like the hypochondriac who put the words on his tombstone: ‘I expected this, but not just yet!’ But as we age and realize that we’ve less time ahead of us than behind us, we begin to pray with the psalmist: ‘Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom’ (Psalm 90:12). Someone asked Charles Spurgeon, ‘Do you have dying grace?’ He replied, ‘Not today, but I will when I’m dying!’ And the grace that has saved and sustained you thus far will be with you as you transition from your lesser life into your greater one.
Heavenly Father, my days are numbered and in Your hands. Teach me to live in that eager expectation of eternity with You – while working now knowing you still have plans for me here. In Jesus’ Name, Amen