Death

Eddie Rickenbacker, the World War I flying ace, once wanted to let himself die but later said this about death: “I felt the presence of death, and I knew that I was going. You may have heard that dying is unpleasant, but Dont you believe it. Dying is the sweetest, tenderest, most sensous sensation I have ever exerienced. Death comes disguides as a sympathetic friend. All was serene; all was calm. How wonderful it would be simply to float out of this world. It is easy to die. You have to fight to live. And that is what I did. I recognized that wonderful, mellow sensation for what it was – death – and I fought it. I literally fought death in my mind, pushing away the sweet blandishments and welvcoming back the pain. The next ten days were a continuous fight with the old Grim Reaper, and again and again, I would feel myself start to slip away. Each time I rallied and fought back, until I had turned th corner toward recovery.”

Captain Rickenbacker should know! Death came toward him many times in his service as a soldier in both world wars, when he survived two plane crashes and when he was lost for twenty-four days on the Pacific Ocean.

Sometimes the spirit of death makes a bid for our very life. It is these inner dynamics that are at work when a person is wounded, facing a serious illness, racked by pain from an injury, or sensing impending doom. It is easy to give in to it. We think of the ugly side of destruction, but the most danger arises when it comes with a pretty face. It is a fight to break free from the enticing call of death, prederve to victory, and redeem the covenant promise of a satisified, long life.

Excerpt from the book “Psalm 91. God’s Shield of Protection. Military edition” by Peggy Joyce Ruth and Angelia Ruth Schum.

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