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Afraid of Living, Scared of Dying

Posted by Cinda On March - 28 - 2013

reflectionThere was a season in my life when I experienced an overwhelming fear of death. What was odd was that at that same time I was also afraid of living. It wasn’t the process of dying that loomed larger than life, it was death itself. Where would I spend eternity? I was so conflicted.

Somewhere deep within, I knew there was an appointment, called death, which I was destined to keep and one for which I would definitely be on time, even if I couldn’t schedule it in my planner or on my calendar. I had also gleaned from somewhere in my childhood that there was a judgment day a-coming. I didn’t have that scheduled either. Both were out of my control. However, this fear of life (defined as this process before this predictable death) seemed immediate and needed my attention.

Growing up, I learned that Jehovah (Yahweh), the Hebrew’s God, was the Creator of all that exists. I also believe that, at just the right time, He came in the flesh as a baby, born of a Virgin and in the familiar words of the Apostles’ Creed, “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried. He descended into hell. The third day, He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty” and it is from there that He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I never doubted the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. But, what I hadn’t been taught or at least didn’t apply, was how to live in the nasty here and now. I had set all my expectations on pie in the sky, by and by.

At this juncture in my life, afraid to live and scared to die, this poor soul cried out to God and He heard my cry. He set my feet on solid ground “from the mire to the choir” and gave me a new song to sing, a song of deliverance.

Like so many today, I was looking for peace. This is why I share my story. But God, in His wisdom and love, caused me to realize my search was really for Him. What I longed for was to get my mind wrapped around the truth. Jesus is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”, the Bible stated. Then, surrendering this well-intentioned, but truly misguided quest was my next step. God alone, through Jesus Christ, was the answer. He made life livable for me. I know He can for you as well. My heart wanted a viable existence free of fear. That was a legitimate need. God met that need in the person of Jesus Christ. All I needed was to turn to Him and accept His provision.

Let me put it another way. God says in Jeremiah 2:13 that His people have committed two evils. One, they had forsaken Him; the fountain of living water. And secondly, they had fashioned or hewed out cisterns (a large tank-like structure for holding water) for themselves. He describes their efforts as “broken and empty” and not able to hold water. Without water, death is sure.

My life was in a “no water” situation. I was thirsty and dry, yet trying to live life the best I knew how. I had carved my own holding tank. So, if a piece of the puzzle, such as peace, was missing, then I would pursue peace. Wrong. I had forsaken God. I wasn’t drinking from His fountain of life-giving water; I was thirsty because of my own efforts. I was pursuing the wrong god and overwhelmed by my weary existence. I was in a desert experience.

True peace came when I pursued the Prince of Peace, Jesus, and not the fleeting peace that I might carve out for myself. Oh, what a difference a living relationship with Him makes. Now I embrace life and when death comes, I will be with Him, forever. My life and my death are now in His trustworthy hands. He is my peace.

Author: Peg / CCF Contributor
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