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“Am I Going to Die?”

31. May 2017

Features, Testimonies,

  —Barb McCune

For [death] is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart. (Eccl. 7:2)

“Mommy, am I going to die?” I asked as I lay in bed, plagued by the misery of pneumonia. Even at age five I was aware of my mortality, the specter of death looming large in my fertile imagination. My mother soothed me with words of comfort, and I soon recovered from the pneumonia to pursue childhood with gleeful abandon.<

This memory highlights the reality that God “has set eternity in their hearts” (Eccl. 3:11), even the hearts of young children. Though I didn’t often contemplate death, I recall times when I was made aware of it through the passing of friends, family, and church members. These occasions reminded me that our days are fleeting and helped to ground what would otherwise be a wayward heart in the truths of God’s Word.

I am the fourth of five children born to Ray and Alice Joseph, a pastor’s family in the Reformed Presbyterian Church. I have many happy recollections of family life: plenty of love and laughter as well as times of discipline extended with grace. We were taught to love God and love people. The memory of my father’s earnestness to worship God together left an indelible mark. As a child, it spoke to me of the importance of who God is—worthy of our time, worthy of our worship. My dad often said that Sunday was the pinnacle of the week, when we made our way to “Mount ...

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