This reading is based on Acts 7 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
There was a time when I farmed yams for the export market. It was nothing extensive, and I did most of the work (manually) myself. Invariably it seemed at the end of many a day on the farm I'd go home, shower, and eat. But as soon as I'd begin to relax, I'd just about then discover that a small prick would have found its way into one of my fingers. The area by then would be slightly swollen and very tender. At what stage of the day did that would have happened - I have never been able to tell. I'd have simply been too busy during the day to have noted when that intrusion occurred.
How easy do you think it'd be for me though to sit in my living room and try to insert that same prick into another finger? There's only one word for that: PAINFUL!
That's death to the person who fears it's occurrence - either to self or to a loved one. And I rather suspect that the actual act of dying is more painful to the onlooker than to the one actually dying.
I therefore posit that Stephen was too busy witnessing to that murderous crowd and experiencing a vision from Heaven to be preoccupied with the threat of death, and obviously felt no fear. I wouldn't be surprised when I get to speak to Stephen (whether in Heaven, or in the earth made new) that he'd report that no sooner than the people started stoning him, he was aware of what they were doing and knew the grave danger they faced, and so he prayed for them. But as far as the stones hitting him was concerned, he only felt the massage of angels' hands and "fell asleep."
May I tell you that the God we serve is good like that! Hallelujah!
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