The Valley of the Shadow of Death

How often do you think about death?  What are your thoughts on the subject? Are you afraid, or do you embrace the thought of what lies ahead once your soul leaves your body?  As Christians, we are told not to fear death. Paul says in Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”  His life here on earth was only to glorify the Lord, and he looked forward to the day when he could be with God.  He knew that death was not a thing to be feared, but something to be excited about.  Finally, our bonds to the flesh are broken and we can live forever in peace with the God who created us and loves us.  Those who don’t know the Lord view death as an entirely different thing.  They see it as a tragedy.  There are a few different views on what happens when we die; from being taken to another planet by the mother ship, to returning as another person, animal or plant or something, or just ceasing to exist all together.  Christians have the assurance that after death, we will spend eternity with God, but what promises do non-believers have to hold on to?  They have no assurance of anything, so why wouldn’t death be frightening to them?  It’s incredible how differently I feel about death depending on the person… For my loved ones whom I know have a relationship with the Lord, death wouldn’t be something tragic, but something wonderful. Yes, because of my own selfishness, I would be heartbroken for a while and miss them terribly, but I would know that they are with God and no longer have anything to worry about.  They will have new, glorified bodies and will never know pain or sorrow ever again.  That’s something to look forward to and find comfort in.  But when I think about one of my friends or family members that don’t know the Lord, death suddenly becomes an aweful tragedy. They will be eternally separated from God, and the thought of that is devastating.  Thinking about death was one of the key factors in my conversion.  I was terrified of dying.  I saw the joy that my Christian friends found in the thought of death.  Naturally, I was appalled that they could think so highly of death, but it was also very intriguing to me.  As weird as it may sound, I wanted to be excited about death, too.  I started looking more into it to come to realize that it was because of the death of one man thousands of years ago, that all of these Christians found joy and comfort in passing away.  The death of Jesus Christ made it possible for sinful humans to be born again and have the assurance of eternal life with the Lord.  Dying was now just a doorway to something beautiful, and that was so amazing to me.  I don’t really know what prompted me to write this.. I think I actually just heard the word death on TV and my thoughts just went in many different directions.  On a personal note, I just want to share with everyone that I don’t fear death.  I know that when I die, I’m going to see Jesus face to face.  What could be better?  I just want to end with my favorite Bible verse.  Psalm 23:4 says, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”   God is with us in life, death, after death, and for the rest of eternity.  Nothing can separate us from Him, and having that knowledge is enough to get me through this life.

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