Death feels near. People merely going about their lives have been struck down. Airplanes have plummeted or disappeared. War has intruded into quiet lives. Yet again, violence has occurred in our streets. And a well-known comedian who brought joy to us all has taken his own life. How we’ll miss him!

All of these events bring to the surface a fact we don’t like to contemplate in the daylight, but which we often ponder in the dark. How will this all end? We all know death awaits us, but we shove aside the consideration. These recent events don’t allow us to ignore death.

Let’s face the fact. Death is near. 

We don’t know how or when, and that reality is with us daily.

Everyone around us is dealing with this hard fact. All of us hide pain behind the facade we present to the world. We are often depleted by our serving, giving, and loving. Our hearts are often broken. Each of us is walking wounded, capable of dark considerations. Some just want this pain to end and are considering suicide.

Even with our human fear of death, sometimes escaping this life through death seems a viable and welcome option, especially if the problems seem insurmountable and the way completely black.

Fear of death and fear of living often walk side by side.

What would we do without Jesus?

This is the believer’s reality: “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:20-21a ESV).

To experience this, to know Jesus face to face and experience the power of his resurrection, we must share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death (Philippians 3:10-11). We must die, unless Christ returns first.

Jesus died on God’s timetable, not on his own. We walk in his steps. God is the determiner of when we live and when we die. To be like Jesus, we leave the day of our death in God’s hands.  The Thinker in the Dark - A5Creative Commons License Hartwig HKD via Compfight

Like Jesus, we yield to God’s timing and cling to him to keep moving forward. Jesus helps us do this. If you’ve been tempted to commit suicide, please tell someone, get help, and talk to people who care.

God loves you. You are precious to him.

He already knows the number of your days, and he will help you.

We can only face the pain in this world with the promises of God undergirding us. Otherwise, we crack. There were times when I considered ending it all, when I saw no way out. Life was bleak. But God kept me moving forward. He kept me alive.

The reality is that God holds on to us. We often don’t even have the strength to return his grasp. He’s a tender shepherd who knows we’re in need of caring. He knows, because he became human and walked among us, experiencing our pain and heartache, and our shuddering fear of death. He faced the darkness.

To redeem us, he had to die. Because he did, he is with us in even our dying, and he is with us in our living. He shepherds us through what he has already experienced. We trust him to help us to live. As we walk through times like these with the shadow of death darkening our steps, he holds us tight. He never lets go.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
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.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. (Psalm 23, ESV)

Childhood Memories Stefano Corso via Compfight