Fearing Death vs. Fearing Dying

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I have a confession to make.  I have fears.  I don’t just mean a few things that I lay awake at night and think about.  I mean the kind of things that if you put me in the situation, I start shaking.  I start sweating.  I can’t think of anything but that situation, and many times I have to concentrate on not getting sick.

My number one fear…heights.  In most situations, I can’t take it.  I get dizzy.  It feels like the ground is getting closer and moving further away at the same time.  You know some of the other fears I have?  Buried alive.  Being trapped under water.  Sharks.  Those all cause the same physical and psychological reaction.  It was about 10 years ago when I finally connected these fears together and realized they all had a common element, and they point to a root fear.  It is a fear of dying.

Unless we are still alive when Christ returns, we will all die at some point (Hebrews 9:27).  So why should I fear something that I know will likely happen at some point anyway?  I know what some of you are probably thinking at this point.  Jonathan…you know Matthew 6:34 tells you not to worry.  You shouldn’t be anxious of anything.  I will admit, anxiety is a struggle of mine.  I don’t worry about what will happen in the future.  It’s more of a fear when I’m in the actual situation.  I can watch Shark Week all day long on TV, but put me in the ocean and it’s a completely different conversation.  It’s the process of dying that scares me sometimes.  A quick read of Psalm 55:1-7 will show that David, the man after God’s own heart, even struggled with fearing death at times.

While I may have a fear of dying in a certain manner, there is one thing I can honestly say with no hesitation: I don’t fear being dead.  I know what is waiting after death, and I understand that the troubles of this life don’t hold a candle to the joy that will come afterward for those who wear the name Christian.  Many scriptures point to this confidence:

So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” [‭‭I Corinthians‬ ‭15:54-55‬]

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints. [‭‭Psalms‬ ‭116:15‬]‬‬

For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens…We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord. [II Corinthians‬ ‭5:1,8‬]

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. [II Timothy‬ ‭4:8‬]

If you will be honest with yourself, most everyone has some type of fear he or she struggles with.  The fear may be spiders, snakes, public speaking, crowded rooms, heights, or even the process of dying.  However, when you are a child of God’s and live in the comfort of His loving arms, there is one thing you will no longer have to fear: what will happen after death.