In last week’s book excerpt, I told you about the first time I admitted I was afraid of dying.
My dear friend, Ed Dobson, was kind enough to listen to my fears and speak the truth in love — to tell me what I didn’t want to hear but knew I needed to hear. He told me I needed to face the fact that these circumstances were what God had chosen for my life.
But Ed couldn’t accept that truth for me. It was something I had to struggle with myself. It’s something we all have to struggle with at some point in our lives.
Today, I want to share another excerpt from Why? Answers to Weather the Storms of Life that I pray will help you if you are facing the fear of death — whether you are afraid of dying yourself or afraid of losing a loved one.
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I knew I had to come to the place where I was willing to die. I had to come to the place of acceptance of death as one of the alternatives.
It made sense … it was the right thing to do. But knowing that didn’t make acceptance any easier. I remember having fears, and I guess they were normal insecurities considering the circumstances. I wondered … “What will happen to my wife? What will happen to my children? What will happen to my ministry?” The fear of knowing life would go on without me was painful and traumatic.
I remember walking down the hall at night and hearing my daughters cry themselves to sleep. It tore my heart out. I would close the door to my room and weep. Knowing my children were suffering was much worse than any physical pain I was in.
“I’ll never walk my daughters down the aisle at their weddings,” I thought. “I’ll never hold my grandchildren. I’m going to die. Why is this happening to me?”
But when I left Ed after our conversation about my fear of dying, I knew I could not be angry with God; I could not run from reality. I had to face what God was doing in my life and accept it as from the Lord. I had to come to the place where I was willing to let go of my life and be willing to face death — death to my own desires, wants, and wishes.
I was willing to wait on the Lord to renew my strength and complete His purposes in my life.
As I drove home, I poured my heart out to God. I told Him that I trusted Him to handle my future and take care of my family. I trusted Him with my life … and my death. I turned my greatest fear over to Him. In that prayer, I literally died to myself and my selfishness. What freedom it brought!
That prayer became a reality in my life and with it I turned a corner in my spiritual health. It gave God greater freedom to nurture and strengthen me. It lifted a burden off my shoulders, and I believe it will do the same for you.
I certainly don’t know what tomorrow will bring. So I thank God for today, and I thank Him for all of my yesterdays. I understand that I am not promised I’ll even have tomorrow, so all I can do is give Him complete control of today.
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God is in control, my friend! There’s no more comforting thought than that … even in the face of death. Accept that He knows what He’s doing in your life, and He will take care of the rest.
If this excerpt has been helpful for you or you think it would be for a friend, I hope you’ll pick up a full copy of Why? Answers to Weather the Storms of Life. You can get your book today for just $8.99, along with a free discussion guide and devotional.
I can’t promise that this book will contain all of the answers you’re looking for, but it does contain many biblical truths that God revealed to me during my journey with cancer — truths that got me through the most difficult time of my life and that I pray will do the same for you.