Last night as I was praying before sleeping, a thought came to my head, “I am scared of dying,” and it would not leave me. I wanted to write about it immediately but I decided to wait till morning and yet this morning it came clearly, again; “I am scared of dying.”
Why am I even scared of dying? Why are people so scared of the word ‘death’? Why do people especially Nigerians fire prayers and quote the various verses of the bible that talk about them not dying but living to testify about God’s goodness. You hear people say, ‘it’s not my portion to die.’ Whose portion is it then? Are there people whose portion or destiny it is to die? Are there people who have been marked out or singled out for death?
What if God says:” My child, it is time for you to come back, it’s time for you to return home.” Can any amount of praying, prophesying and decreeing the ‘word’ upon your life change what would happen. I know you are going to bring up King Hezekiah and I know of him too and I know God added 15 years to his life. I know a God who is both faithful and merciful.
In James2: 13 it says on that day mercy will triumph over justice. I know of His promises in Psalms that we will live a long and fruitful life; that we shall not die but live to testify of His goodness in the land of the living. My dad says that death is a narrow path, which we must all tread; it is an inevitable end. If this is so, why is there no calm acceptance of death? Why are people myself included so scared of dying?
I lost someone I loved dearly and it shook me to the core. I close my eyes and imagine what it would feel like never to open my eyes again; never to see this world again and shivers ran down my spine (I used to think I was a strong girl, in line for Miss. Tough award). I know some day, one day I would die but it is a bitter pill to swallow.
I look at aspects of my life and I think I see where the problem lies (ghen ghen ghen ghen Nollywood movie in action strip). It is the fear of the unknown, the fear of not making heaven; it is the fear of not being right with God when death comes calling on us that makes the thought of death so unpalatable. (we Nigerians fear a lot: fear of witches and wizards, of our enemies that are planning our demise, of the people in our villages that we imagine are pursuing, of our neighbors that do not want our success and so on.)
I wrestle with myself. I think I have not done all that God has sent me to do in this world but who made me judge and arbitrator of claims. Who knows the mind of God, who can give Him advice, how do I know when in His book I have completed the work He has sent me to do, these are the thoughts that run through my mind. Yes St. Paul says I have finished the race, I have completed the work, what remains is the crown of glory (just paraphrasing, not St. Paul’s exact words). He had that assurance or confidence (whichever one you like to call it) but I and may be some people have not gotten to that place yet.
I want to live a long life. I want to get married and enjoy with my hubby, give birth to wonderful children and live to see my children’s children as it says in Psalms 128. I have dreams and aspirations, places where I want to see, heights I want to achieve, grounds that I want to break, things I want to do and where I want to be in the future (say like 5 years from now I want to be still churning out better pieces of work from my God-given talent). I am sure most people feel the same way I do. I want to touch lives not only by the words I write or speak (that reminds me I want to try my hand at ‘spoken words’).
Finally, what is the measurement of a fulfilled life? Is it how long or how well?
I can only pray that when death comes, it finds us all prepared.
Say no to insurgency and Yes to a better Nigeria.