We fear many things, especially if they are at all unknown, like the first day of school, or the first day on the job. This is the foundation of fear of death. None of us knows what it’s like to die, or wants to die, yet all of us will. I like what Woody Allen said: “I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
Through decades of pastoral work I’ve been at the bedside of many as they died. I’ve witnessed that, in most cases, it is a peaceful process leading to what lies beyond. Even in the face of terrible illness there was still a strong element of peace.
We should not seek death, but trust that God has purposeful life still beyond it. I was once told that I was near death. Interestingly, I had no fear in hearing that. I didn’t want to die, but my faith told me that death isn’t the end. We are created to be alive to the fullest we can in every moment.
We’re created to live, and to live forever. This is why we innately feel that death seems all wrong. Yet we wouldn’t want to live eternally with disease and the decay that progresses as we age. Jesus died so that we will live forever. We will face death, but face it in Christ. And because of Him, we will live forever.
When Jesus died on the cross, he told the thief crucified next to Him,
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43