The fear of dying just seems like common sense. No one wants to get the bad diagnosis. I can't remember all the times I found some little lump or bump and felt that little panicky feeling. Begged for mercy. Started bargaining with God. Please wait until the kids are grown.. until the grandbabies come. The graduations. The weddings.
Tonight Pastor preached on what it will be like to see Jesus. Revelation 1. A picture of the Savior in dignity and purity, with all wisdom and the truth of His word, with all authority. God in the midst of His churches, not sitting as a spectator looking down from heaven. Holding his seven messengers, perhaps the pastors of the seven churches, in His right hand. The Almighty.
The sight causes John to fall down like a dead man. But Christ lays his hand on John, and His loving reassuring words to him are "Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and behold, I am alive forevermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Our Savior, who tasted death for us and is alive forevermore. Fear not.
And the glad thought dawned upon my heart. Our lovely brother, Don Webb, went to be with Jesus this week. Don always seemed to have a twinkle in his eyes, and a smile on his lips. It looked like he had something cool going on with God that I just didn't know about. Sometimes, whatever was going on in his heart that week would leak out in bits and pieces, and his blue eyes would fill with joyful tears, and he would say something that I couldn't understand. I'd try to get it. Smile. Nod my head. And he'd laugh a little and shake his head, and his eyes would twinkle. And I'd be glad that he and God had something cool, some new truth, some joyful communion between them.
Tonight, as Pastor talked about what it will be like to see God, I realized that Don is experiencing His glory right now. The perfect conclusion to a life spent, partnered with a wife who also lived to bring glory to the Master and bring souls to meet their Savior.
My heart is with my sister, Ferne. I can't imagine that pair separated, and I can't imagine the pain. Everyone who knew Don will miss him. There is the sting.
But why do we fear our own death so much? It ushered Don into God's presence. That is what he lived for. That day, for each of us who know the Savior, is probably our best day ever. Our loving Savior holds the key of death. What does it unlock? Fear not.