Growing up I was never afraid of the dark, or boogie men under my bed, or some secret monster world in my closet. I probably slept with a nightlight but it was only to watch the light bounce off the walls and ceiling. I’ve always liked and preferred a dark or dimly lit room to one full on with lights etc.
But there was something which would keep me up late at night, or freeze me in my tracks growing up. Death. I was terrified of it as a kid and I can vividly recall laying in bed going crazy thinking about how when I’m 33 I’ll have only maybe 40 to 60 more years to live!
Oh My Gosh!
This fear of death would follow me around and would sneak up on me here and there throughout life. It would cause me to really “live” life because I didn’t want to miss out on anything. It caused me to make some poor decisions and also probably kept me from truly enjoying some of my past.
This past Sunday my uncle Hursel passed away at the age of 89. He was probably one of my most favorite uncles on my mother’s side of the family. Uncle Hursel was a very godly man and had a very strong and tight relationship with Jesus. I never saw him without a bible and I think it was the only book he ever really read. He was a World War II Veteran, served on school boards, a deacon, active in the Mason’s and more.
When I learned of his death it hit me pretty hard, but not in the sense of sadness but in the sense of unexpected. I wasn’t sad he passed away. I knew he wasn’t doing well and had been battling skin cancer for quiet awhile. What really shook me though was my thoughts after I found out. After friends started to console me, offer their condolences and generally wanted to lift me up.
I didn’t need it. Death wasn’t scary anymore.
I was actually happy. My thoughts immediately turned to the idea that my uncle Hursel was going to spend Thanksgiving and more importantly Christmas with all his family who passed before him AND Jesus. I’ll admit I’m kind of jealous because you know they celebrate Christmas full on up in Heaven. In fact I often pretend Heaven is Christmas 24 / 7 but without the need for shopping or presents.
Death isn’t scary anymore because it’s not a fear of what I’ll lose. Death has become a celebration of what I’ll gain. I’m in no rush to get there, and God I’m sure has a lot for me to do before then. But I know this. When I do die, it’s going to be a party and no one is allowed to wear black.
Romans 6:9-11 – We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.