I’m not a freak, I promise. I can’t help it that I’ve been gifted.
It’s kind of like my sister. She has a gift. Tell her that you just found out you’re pregnant, and she can tell you within thirty seconds your due date. My gift is kind of like that, only not at all. You see, if you give ME fifteen minutes, I’ll tell you everything and anything that could possibly go wrong in your little old life. Beautiful, isn’t it?
So here we are, with another death post. But it gets better, trust me.
You see, it dawned on me the other day. I’m going to die. Why do I fight it? So I immediately did what I always do when I am determined to conquer something by ration, reason, or force. I research, and I organize. I wish it were sexier, that I were one of those people who conquer their devils by running fifteen miles, or hiking a mountain, or even concocting something new in the kitchen. No, for me it’s always been: read everything you can on a subject, and then make color-coded index cards and a spreadsheet to give some poor soul a presentation on something they never wanted to know.
And thus it was with death. And where, persay, do I go if I want to learn about death, and slay the dragons of fear thereof? The Bible, of course – that’s where I went. The whole thing, actually. Well, okay, I skipped the Old Testament for purposes of time. But I started with Matthew determined to write down every single reference to eternity, dying, or heaven. Cure it with research, right? (I do realize that this whole post is casting a rather unflattering self-image, but in my determination to be honest, and – more importantly, helpful – on I go. 🙂
Well I have to be honest, the first couple books were a little more bleak than I had hoped. I felt like from an initial skimming that I had been called “a brood of vipers” one too many times. I wasn’t quite feeling the hope. Until John.
The Gospel of John is my new. favorite. book. Did you know there are over 31 references to eternal life, just in the FIRST HALF of the book? It’s always Jesus talking, and according to John he mentions the word “LIFE” about every time he ends a miracle, or story, or lesson. It’s incredible, if you’re looking. Man, I felt better reading those. And incredibly, not so much with “eyes on heaven” that I wasn’t any earthly good. On the contrary, I can tell you that I sliced the dinner sweet potatoes with a new enjoyment, attention, and joy. It’s odd, but true.
The big question, though, is, does my new knowledge cure me from those awful death fears? Well…those who saw me dash all of the sofa cushions in the pantry to escape the impending “tornado” that occurred, or was predicted to occur, three hours later, might probably assume no. But it’s a start. I thought I might share a little of my hope, but you should really go read the whole book. This is just one verse, the first that really hit me. It’s familiar, but I can tell you it had new meaning for this little researcher, scared to death of death.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
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