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Our One Big Fear

May 21, 2019

Howard Stern will talk about pretty much anything on his radio show. He is notable for his crude and vulgar humor, dubbed a "shock jock" for his use of shocking or unorthodox content and his highly controversial comments about women, religions, races.

Raised a Jew, Stern is sometimes labeled as a “self-hating Jew.” He has said he thinks “religion” is superfluous, and says, “I just think being a good person and trying to do your best [is what’s important]. However, that didn’t seem to give him much confidence when he was faced with cancer. Stern revealed how on May 10, 2017, he canceled his SiriusXM show, prompting speculation and theories from his devoted fans. While he returned to the air just days later, he lied to the audience about his absence, saying he had the flu. "Why is it such a big deal that I took a f***ing day off?" he asked on air.

Stern now explained that the day in question he was actually in surgery. For the entire year prior, he had visited countless doctors to monitor a low white blood cell count discovered during a routine checkup, as well as a growth on his kidney, which he was told had a 90 percent chance of being cancerous.

"All I'm thinking is, 'I'm going to die,'" Stern recalled in the interview, his first time discussing the health issue publicly. "And I'm scared s***less." However, after several hours in surgery, he learned that it had just been a scare and the growth turned out to be a tiny, harmless cyst.

Howard Stern, famous bad boy at 65 years of age, supposedly afraid of no one and nothing, melted with fear in the face of death. On the other hand, I recently went through the ravages of cancer with a young mother with so much of life ahead of her and dearly loved children to raise. She looked death right in the face and never flinched. She walked confidently and courageously through every moment. How is that possible?

The Hebrew writer explains it: Because God's children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying. Hebrews 2:14-15

Every person who has ever lived, whether they admit it or not, has an inherent fear of death, or a fear of the unknown, as many describe it. However, when we come to know Jesus, the author of life itself, the fear of death is broken. Little old fearful you and big, bad Howard Stern can beat the fear in the same way.

Stern said going through that has made him face his mortality—and question if it’s time to turn off his microphone, travel with Beth, and spend more time with his grown daughters. His contract with SiriusXM, which reportedly pays him $90 million a year, expires at the end of 2020. "I'm at a place now where I am trying to figure out how to spend the rest of my life, however long that might be.”

Of course, you know the recommendation I would make to Howard if I could talk to him. But you are the one I get to talk to today. Make Jesus your fear-breaker as He becomes your Savior and Lord today. You will find that fear will lose its grip as your relationship with Jesus grows. When the time comes for you to die, you will calmly and confidently do it because you have Jesus, and you know that death leads to new life when He is your Savior.

When I was growing up, we used to listen daily to a radio station that signed off this way: “Remember to live each day as if it were your last, because one day it will be.” That’s the way to do it: fearless.