What Are We Afraid Of?

John 11:43-44

Rethink death–yours and others.

I can’t say much for his political or military loyalties, but the bravery, genius, and Christian faith of Confederate general Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson can’t be doubted. It is said that Jackson, in battle, demonstrated absolutely no fear, riding about on his horse, bullets whizzing past him. When asked about that apparent death-defying behavior, Jackson is reputed to have said that if God intended him to die, then he would die, and if God intended him to live, then he would live.

It is appointed, we learn from Hebrews 9:27, for people to die once and then face the judgment. Everyone, it seems, will die and face the judgment. The best efforts of people of the past to live forever have failed. Despite the advances in modern medicine, people still die. As much as we want to pretend it won’t happen, it will–followed by the judgment.

When we don’t have to worry about that judgment, when we know how it will turn out, then can ride around in our lives like Stonewall Jackson. He was not fool. He didn’t want a piece of shrapnel tearing through his body, but he trusted in both the protection of God and the ultimate destination that his soul would reach.

If Christians spend their lives acting as if they have something to fear from this world, then they need to spend some time reflecting on the implications of their theology. As for me, I’d like to see myself riding bravely into whatever battle God stirs up.

  • Do you worry about your death? What is the nature of that worry?
  • How does your worry change your behavior? Or what does lack of worry enable you to achieve?
  • Pray this week that God will help you develop a “Stonewall” attitude toward death.