We’re Going to die! Seriously!

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bible deathIt is only in very recent years that I have been able to overcome a lifelong fear of death. I have heard from professionals that this can be common among people who have suffered with anxiety or who have had multiple loved ones pass away, or even someone who had a loved one pass away as a result of a very tragic circumstance.

As a process to work through this fear I was confronted with the hauntings that would cause this fear, hidden just beneath the surface, to rise up at the most inopportune moment. As a result I suffered from anxiety and panic disorder for over 15 years.

This is pretty personal and as you know, I am not one to expose or reveal a lot about my personal life. I did do that in my book, On The Road to Hope-Real Life Journeys of Faith. This book was a tell all of my life. It is available on Amazon. There are times that I feel so vulnerable, knowing that my life is there for the whole world to see.

The book was the healing process. That is when I was finally able to move past the fear. With the book were the various opportunities that place me square in the face of death. After I left Bible College and was serving on Pastoral staff at my local church I was the one who was in charge of all the menial task of the church. One such instance was one of our families had a husband pass away, a very prominent church and community member. I shall never forget this experience as it is etched in my mind with indelible ink ever for one detail to be erased. Rather than host the body of the man in the funeral home the family wanted the body inside the church sanctuary for 3 days because family members were driving across the US and would be coming and going. This was to be the 2 days leading up to the services inside the church. Being new to the ministry, I did not know this, but the law states that if the deceased corpse is not in security of the funeral home someone had to sign to be responsible and secure the body. So, I was delegated to stay overnight and secure the body. They delivered it, set everything up and I was summoned to sleep in one of the Sunday school rooms for the night. I was instructed to make sure the AC was set down cool inside the sanctuary.

I must say with my history of anxiety and fear of death this was surely a confrontation that would either cure me or kill me. Several times throughout the night I walked down the long hallway making my way to the door to the sanctuary. I pressed my hand against the doors with intents to open and walk in and… well…I don’t know. Look or something. But each time all I could bring myself to do was peak through that tiny triangular shaped window. After a sneak peak (the casket was closed) I made my way back down the hall and lay awake. I was afraid to fall asleep and if I did fall asleep what would be the situation when I woke up? I was relieved when the 48 hours was over.

The second such situation that was crucial in my cure of the fear of death was the passing of my dear beloved Pastor, Al Green. When looking back over my life few have impacted my life to such lengths as to be life-changing. Al Green was one man who did just that. Before him and after his passing I have never met a kinder, loving, gentle shepherd. I can sit here now and see his face and hear his voice. I was privileged, if you call it that, to go to his bedside while he was passing. I remember the room where he lay in the death bed which would be the departure place for which he would leave this world and be ushered by angels whisking him away, multitudes of them carrying him by his arms as he described, he could see them. It was at that time I understood

1 Corinthians 15:54 – 55 “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?”

According to the Matthew Henry Commentary, this verse is explained so beautifully. All the saints should not die, but all would be changed. In the gospel, many truths, before hidden in mystery, are made known. Death never shall appear in the regions to which our Lord will bear his risen saints. Therefore let us seek the full assurance of faith and hope, that in the midst of pain, and in the prospect of death, we may think calmly on the horrors of the tomb; assured that our bodies will there sleep, and in the mean time our souls will be present with the Redeemer.

I think I never really believed that this life would end and if it did I wasn’t sure I believed what would happen afterwards.  The day came when it hit me. We’re Going to die! Seriously!

I know this is not a happy cheerful blog post, but yet again, today I am faced staring straight into the face of death as a friends passed away this very day during the early hours just before dawn. Now I have a clearer understanding of it all. While I had been standing in for her in healing services and praying for her for months I see it was not the divine plan for her residency here. There was something more important that the Heavenly Father needed her for at His house.

Now I am able to see that the ultimate healing for the saint is death and the greatest mystery of all is why some are chosen to go and some get to stay for many years even more than 100. Now I feel peace, wonderful peace in the face of death.

There’s a party going on around the throne. I have read the last chapter of the book. Whether it’s now or later, I win. I will forever be sitting around a great throne with all of my family and friends who have taken the road less traveled.

Now today, this very day I am again faced staring our mortality square in the face. A precious friend and saint of God has departed and is sitting in the arms of the Father.

Now, rest in His everlasting arms, my sweet friend Becky. I will see you soon. Save me a seat at the throne.

RIP Becky Owens Clinton 6-15-13

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