Sunday, December 5, 2010

Trials of Death

Death and dying...Fear of death...
If there is one experience that, throughout history and around the world, binds mankind together, it is death. Death is something we all must face -- nothing can change that fact of our physical life. It is the great equalizer.

The finality of death, coupled with the uncertainty of an afterlife, results in fear, for many. We see it all around us as we try so hard to stop the aging process. We hope that the next pill, the next surgery, or the next genetic discovery will be the key to extending our lives.

Facing death with after death...
Not everyone, however, faces death with fear and uncertainty. A year ago I was diagnosed with a disease that destroys the front lobes of the brain with no known cure. Death is a faceless enemy. The doctors can only treat for the symptoms that go with the destruction of the brain, anger, personality changes, mode swings, etc….

Having reached the conclusion that nothing medically can be done, I had to reach the point of acceptance pretty quick. At this point, I was horribly sad, afraid of losing out on a long life with my family, and it made me very angry with God. 

Dealing with death...
Amazingly, my anger did not last for long. In fact, I seemed to be meeting this horrible fate with the anxiety one might experience on a first date. To this day, when I think of my peace in the face of the storm, I am in awe at how it does not cause me fear anymore.

My peace was not merely an inborn, laid-back look at life. Instead it came from a decision I made only years before. What was that decision?  I found peace with God.

I know how to have life after death...
The peace I know is found in the Bible. In the book of Romans, I read that "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). I also read, "The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:23).

Jesus is the one Isaiah referred to when he wrote, "And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). The Prince of Peace came to Earth so that each person might have peace with God. I decided to put my trust in Jesus, and this peace became very evident.

Life after death...our decision...
We must decide if we will accept God's gift of eternal life. If we reject God's gift, we are condemned to spiritual death -- eternal separation from God. If we do accept, however, then eternal life is ours.

While this eternal life does not mean we will escape physical death, we can face death a lot easier knowing that it leads to eternal life in heaven. This is the truth which I discovered, and the ensuing relationship with God made all the difference in the world. This is the truth I have discovered, and the relationship makes all the difference every day of the rest of my life.

If you are facing death or know someone who is, and wondering about life after death, or maybe you are facing the struggle of living, you can still have peace and hope, through Christ. 
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