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Be Not Afraid

By Tina Dixon,2014-07-02 09:12
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Be Not Afraid

Be Not Afraid

OVERCOMING THE FEAR OF DEATH

jOHANN CHRIsTOpH ARNOlD

    Please share this e-book with your friends. Feel free to e-mail it or print it in its entirety or in part, but please do not alter it in any way. If you wish to make multiple copies for wider distribution, or to reprint portions in a newsletter or periodical, please observe the following restrictions:

. You may not reproduce it for commercial gain.

    . You must include this credit line: ??Copyright 2007 by Plough Publishing House. Used with

    permission.??

    This e-book is a publication of Plough Publishing House, Farmington, PA 15437 USA (www.plough.com) and

    Robertsbridge, East Sussex, TN32 5DR, UK

    (www.ploughbooks.co.uk)

Copyright . 2007 by Plough Publishing House

    Farmington, PA 15437 USA

All Rights Reserved

    God is love; and he who abides in love abides in God. In this way we may have confidence on the day of judgment?? There is no fear in love; perfect love casts out fear.

1 jOHN 4:16-18

CONTENTs

    Contents ..................................................................iv

    Foreword .................................................................vi

    Introduction ............................................................ix

    Chapter 1:

    Foundations................................................1 Chapter 2:

    Fear...........................................................12 Chapter 3:

    Despair..................................................... 23 Chapter 4: Losing a Baby .......................................... 33

    Chapter 5: Reverence ................................................ 42

    Chapter 6: The Childlike Spirit ................................. 50 Chapter 7:

    Anticipation ..............................................61 Chapter 8:

    Readiness................................................. 69 Chapter 9:

    Accidents ..................................................79 Chapter 10: Beyond Medicine ................................... 89 Chapter 11: In God's Hands........................................97 Chapter 12: Suffering............................................... 108

Be Not Afraid Contents

Chapter 13:

    Faith ......................................................122 Chapter 14:

    Courage.................................................132 Chapter 15:

    Healing ..................................................146 Chapter 16:

    Caring....................................................156 Chapter 17:

    Dying .....................................................166 Chapter 18:

    Grief ......................................................178 Chapter 19:

    Resurrection..........................................194 Epilogue............................................................... 204

    The

    Author ...........................................................210

vi

FOREwORD

By MADElEINE l??ENGlE

    One evening while my children were doing homework, I was sitting at my desk writing, when one of our neighbors, a young man in high school, came in demanding, ??Madeleine, are you afraid of death???

    Barely turning, I answered, ??Yes, Bob, of course.?? He plunked himself down on a chair. ??Thank God. Nobody else will dare to admit it.??

    Death is change, and change is always fearful as well as challenging, but until we can admit the fear, we cannot accept the challenge. Until we can admit the fear, we cannot know the assurance, deep down in our hearts, that indeed, we are not afraid.

    Be Not Afraid is a wonderful book about the kind of fearlessness of death that comes despite the normal fears we have, no matter how deep our faith. Indeed, it is only deep faith that can admit fear, and then move on to the understanding that God can work through our tragedies as well as our joys; that even when accidents and illness let us down, God never lets us down.

Be Not Afraid Foreword

    I am also grateful that Be Not Afraid addresses the paradox of our abuse of the great gift of free will, and God??s working out of Love??s plan for the universe. No, God does not cause or will the death of a child, but God can come into all things, no matter how terrible. God can help us to bear them, and even be part of them.

    In a society that is afraid of death ?C not the normal fear Bob expressed, but the terrible fear that surrounds us when we are not centered on God ?C we tend to isolate the dying, implying that death is contagious. Yes, we all die; there are no exceptions; but we are not meant to die alone. I was taken through a beautiful new cancer hospital where in each room there was what looked like a small mahogany table. In a moment it could be pulled out and turned into a bed, where a family member or friend could be with the person who was ill.

    I was privileged to be with my husband, holding him, at the time of his death. The grace to be with other people as they have made the great transition has been given me. Perhaps when I answered Bob??s question with, ??Yes, of course,?? I was referring to awe, rather than fear or panic, an awe some of us are afraid to face.

    I wish a friend had put this beautiful book in my hands when my husband died. It honors life, and in honoring life it honors death. It also honors the One who made us all with such love. God came to live with

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Be Not Afraid Foreword

    us as Jesus, to show us how to live, and to die, and that gives us assurance of the Resurrection, and of life in eternity ?C that is, of life beyond time and all that is transient, in God??s love forever.

Goshen, Connecticut

ix

INTRODuCTION

By THE AuTHOR

    Are you afraid of dying? Do you know someone who is? Have you ever wondered how you would survive the loss of someone you love? Whether consciously or not, every life is sooner or later touched by death, and thus every person must deal with these questions at one point or another. That is why I have written this book.

    We cannot avoid death. It overshadows all our lives. We live longer than our grandparents; we are better fed; we lose fewer babies. Vaccines protect us from once-feared epidemics; hi-tech hospitals save tiny preemies and patients in need of a new kidney or heart. But we are still mortal. And even if we have been successful in warding off plagues that decimated earlier generations, we have no lack of our own ?C from suicide, abortion, divorce, and addiction, to racism, poverty, violence, and militarism. We live, as Pope John Paul II has said, in a culture of death.

    It is also a culture of fear. Fearing old age, we hide our elderly in nursing homes. Fearing crime, we protect

Be Not Afraid Introduction

    ourselves with guns and locked doors. Fearing people who don??t look like us or earn as much, we move into segregated or ??gated?? neighborhoods. Fearing other nations, we impose sanctions and drop bombs. We are even afraid of our own offspring, turning our schools into virtual prisons, and our prisons into holding pens and morgues. Add to all these anxieties several more that are driving millions to distraction, at least at the time of this writing: terrorism, bio-warfare, and planes falling out of the sky.

With eight children, and some two dozen

    grandchildren, I know what it is like to ponder the future and be scared. Having stood at the bedside of dying friends and relatives ?C and having fought alongside them ?C I also have an inkling of what it means to face death. More important, I have seen the peace that radiates from those who have not only battled their fears but found strength to overcome them. That peace gives me courage and hope, and in telling you their stories, I hope it will do the same for you.

    Ordinary men and women, the people in this book had their share of bad days, struggles, obstacles, and low moments. They cried; they were scared; they needed reassurance. Most would have gone under without support. But to me their significance lies not so much in the way they died, but in the way they

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