I’ve been thinking lately about the fear of death.
Jesus became flesh and blood to save me from the fear of death. Heb 2.
I’ve been thinking about how that’s so much more than just the fear of physically dying.
That’s there too, of course, but there’s actually many more ways than just the physical where I’m afraid of death.
I’m actually afraid to give up what I see as “my life” in many things.
I’m afraid to give up things that I see as me, my rights, my opinions, even my possessions. Me.
You see, I idolize me. And I fear me dying.
I see this in myself in relation to my right leg. My stroke-effected leg. It hasn’t been right for months and months now. Though I can walk (for which I’m extremely grateful), it causes me constant pain. It’s tiresome having to deal with it day in and day out.
But the truth is, if I get to the core of it…. my frustrations with it stem from fear. I’m afraid of having to deal with it for the rest of my life. I’m afraid of all it will keep me from being able to accomplish. I’m afraid of the death it means to me which it represents; keeping me from functioning in all the fullness of life that I have in mind.
Then too, I’ve been seeing the same fear of death in the realm of forgiveness. There’s places where I’ve struggled with forgiving others. I don’t want to forgive because I think I’m owed something, and I think someone has stepped on some part of my life. Treated it like dirt. Hurt me. Angered me. Offended me. But again. If I go to the core of it…. it’s origin is the same fear of death; of giving up part of what I see as my life.
This fear of death is all over the place. It shows up in our competitiveness; our fear of losing. (Think of the recent US elections and you’ll have an excellent picture of it ?). It shows up in our parenting; our fear of not having me time because we’re giving it all to our children. It shows up in our marriages the same.
Fear of dying shows up in our finances. It shows up at home, in our work, at church. At the grocery. When we’re driving. It shows up in our angers and impatiences. And our lazinesses. Our need to have the last word. Our need to please people. Fear of dying. Everywhere.
And all fear, at the core, is the fear of dying. Be that physically. Or fear of death to me in some way.
No wonder Jesus said over and over again, “Fear Not”. It’s what the angels sang on the night he was born. It’s the very message he came to speak to us even from his babyhood.
He came to set us free from our fear of death. Heb 2:14.
Think of it! There’s so much HOPE in the thought. Whatever place I’m being asked to give up my life and fearing it…his intention is to set me free!
In such freedom, comes quietness of heart, peace of mind. A relief, really. And clarity. Surrender. Sweetness. Rest.
And contrary to human logic, I don’t lose an ounce of me in the process. Rather, I find find the me God created me to be……
Whatever kind of death God brings to me, physical or otherwise, Jesus has come to set me free from it. And if he sets me free… then I am free indeed.
P. S. One of the things that my stroke took was my voice. All the emotion was drained out of it. I was quiet before, but now I’m way more quiet. So for practice, I’ve been making audio recordings and posting them on Soundcloud. I made a recording of this blog post. Leave me some comments on what you think. Be honest, but nice please. It’s kind of fun, really. Enjoy. :0)