What Does Fear Stop?

My brother was scared to die.

He retired from the Navy after a 20 year stint. He rarely went into war zones, but the time he did, he called my mom in a panic. His superiors had given him “next of kin” paperwork. I am sure there was a bundle of other papers, but I’m not a military girl, I couldn’t tell you what they were.

I do remember my mom telling me how scared he was about going, especially after having paperwork placed before him that signified the real danger in the adventure he was about to go on. During that time, he went to many places, but was not allowed to divulge his location due to safety reasons. Despite all the danger, he returned each time, alive.

Thank God.

Yes, we thanked God for his safe return every time.

My brother was scared to die.

The night before his open heart surgery, he asked his wife if she was praying for him. He was scared. I don’t know if he had a feeling how things were going to go or if like many of us, he KNEW death was a possibility, but figured it wouldn’t happen.

He died of a massive heart attack during surgery.

His fear of death did nothing to save him.

I’m going to repeat that, because I need to remember it.

His fear of death did nothing to save him.

My fear of death often paralyzes me. If anyone knew how many ailments I have googled and how many times Webmd tells me my aches and pains could lead to death, I would be mortified.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,

Romans 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

My brother feared death and it came for him anyway.

It will come for all of us. We won’t know when. We won’t know why, but it will come. So why do we fear what we can not avoid? The fear of death only stops us from living fully, it doesn’t stop us from dying.

P.S. I was thinking about him this morning. I think about him a lot and that voice inside my heart that often makes a lot of sense spoke to me. It said “Willie was scared of dying and it didn’t stop it from happening. Why are you wasting your time on fear?” That lightbulb moment led to this blog post. 


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