It seems to be a natural, human reaction to preserve one’s life. Many reasons come to mind – the love we have for others that we don’t want to lose, the work we have embraced and at times even come to love. It is the footprint we want to leave in this world. But there is also the uncertainty of death that some face and have difficulty coping with. If they have no definitive spiritual beliefs, death may seem to be frightening.
I know someone who once told me he was afraid to die. We talked about life after death, about Jesus’ sacrifice and God’s plan to save all people because of the enormity of His love for us. These things appeared to be difficult for this person to accept. He had lived a hard life, one filled with many instances of hurt from others and the residual and ongoing suffering that comes after trauma. He knew that a god existed. He just hadn’t made up his mind which one to believe in. Salvation didn’t seem real to him. My words fell on seemingly deaf ears.
I think that’s why I was very surprised when he became suddenly ill and stopped eating. People who were caring for him brought his favorite foods, but he refused them. I was surprised by his reaction to this disease. It was not necessarily fatal; cures had greatly outnumbered deaths. He appeared to have only minor symptoms. Had he lost his fear of death? Some of those closest to him seemed angry, some frustrated when he ignored their help, and others just in shock.
How do we help someone who has given up on life? In this seemingly out-of-control world, how do we maintain our own hope and perseverance, cling to life itself?
There is only one answer, and it doesn’t lie in a well-thought-out plan. It doesn’t rest in more words or more action or more of anything. It rests in a Person. It rests in the Morning Star. It rests in Jesus. If the world has failed, He still cannot fail. If the world’s love has grown cold, His never will. If we feel confused or despondent or numb with pain, He is right beside us, encouraging us on, reminding us of His love and His awesome plan.
I may make mistakes (Do I ever!). I may be rejected. My plans may be blocked beyond my ability to move forward. But God is always by my side. I may stumble, but I will never give up.
Don’t give up. In all this world, there’s no illness, no problem, no circumstance that God cannot heal or resolve. God has a plan. Don’t be afraid to die. Turn to Jesus. He loves you. Reach for that Morning Star and He will reach back to you and keep you safe in His arms.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10