As I rocked my son to sleep last night I rolled these lines from this sonnet over and over in my head:
Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so ;
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And Death shall be no more ; Death, thou shalt die.
That is from John Donne’s 17th century “Holy Sonnet 10”. I came across this while reading a book that I will talk about in a later post but it brought about so many other thoughts that were on my mind lately, that I thought I’d share them here.
I think what struck me the most was that for all of my assurance of salvation I have never stopped being afraid of death. I have held on to this fear as if letting go of it were to give something to God that I just wanted to continue holding on to (as with so many of our earthly struggles, no?). This is something that has haunted me from a very young age, before I gave my life to Christ and probably why I have continued holding on to it until recently. I’ve always been afraid of dying and missing out on the “earthly” life, of losing loved ones to death and not knowing if I’ll have the strength to carry on, of coping with everything that comes with death. But through recent events and then through sifting through my thoughts after reading that sonnet, I have come to realize something. Yes, death, you must die. For there is life beyond this earthly realm, and Praise the Lord I know that I will spend an eternity with You!
As I rocked my son to sleep, one of the captors of my heart, I recollected all the moments of doubt I have allowed to conquer me over the years. I always pray for the safety of my loved ones. I pray God keeps them in His arms of safety and protection. I believe the Scriptures because God tells us in Proverbs 21:31 that “safety is of the Lord”. I believe God keeps us each and every day and I’ve been scared that one day He will test my faith truly and take one of my precious loved ones to see if I will lean on Him and not my own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5) For this, I ask God to forgive my doubt, my reliance upon fear and beg Him to seal my thoughts so that I will think on whatever is pure, whatever is holy, whatever is true. (Philippians 4:8)
For there is an eternity, and I do not want to spend it in Hell. I want to spend it with my Lord, Jesus Christ. I can say to death now you have no power, I am free. I will not let you win control over me. Thank you Lord for Your Truth, Your Son, My Redeemer to whom I give my unDYING devotion and gratitude.
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.