You’re scared? Scared of what? “Dying.” “I’m scared of dying.”
She has no hope of living. Her life is slowly ebbing away, and she is powerless to stop the cancer consuming her.
She is sitting in a rocker in front of a small fan, an oxygen tube encircling her face. Though it is the middle of the afternoon, the room is dark except for a naked bulb overhead giving off dim light. A TV set blares across the room, three small girls huddled in front of it. She looks over at the children and tears begin to well up in her eyes. “It just takes some getting used to…but I can’t get used to it. I’m scared.”
Somehow I have to help her to not be afraid. But death is a terrifying reality, especially when you haven’t much knowledge of God or any real degree of faith to clutch. She claims to believe in Jesus, but her faith fails to relieve her fear. What good is that? Wasn’t it Jesus who said, “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die”?
Isn’t that supposed to take the fear out of death? Then why is she so scared? Somehow I have to help her understand that death is not the worst thing that can happen to her; in fact, it can be the best thing! Life for her has always been a struggle; she’s lived hard. What if she could have the peace of mind to understand that the struggle and the hard stuff of life is about to be replaced with rest and comfort – things she’s never had before?
But she needs to know more about Jesus and to trust Him. She is almost like a child, so frightened she’ll do anything anyone tells her. But I want her to trust Jesus, not me. I want her to take His hand in confident obedience, not mine in forlorn hope.
What I really want for her is for us to sit together, hand-in-hand, and sing softly without fear, “On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand and cast a wishful eye, to Canaan’s fair and happy land where my possessions lie.”