How Do You Find Comfort When Blindsided with Losing a Loved One?

One more phone call from a dear loved one who suddenly, unexpectedly lost a dear loved one.  She feels crushed as we do for her.  Words fail and no actions can fix the hurt.

I’ve been there as I’m sure you have too.  The world stops and it seems impossible to go on.

Yet in time after enough tears it does.

It caused me, once again, to think about how short and fragile and beautiful and wonderful life is.  We hurt because we love yet love makes life magical.

Jennifer and I spent a marvelous day skiing yesterday on a perfect blue sky day.  Yes, the only kind I go up on now.  I’m a card carrying wuss and don’t care.

Last night as I read my Bible I came across a verse that gives the most important answer.

God promises, “I will gather you . . . . I will bring you home.”

In the end that’s really all that matters isn’t it?  That God promises to bring us home.

When you simply trust in him as his child you’ll be with those you love forever where there will be no more tears only love.

Oh, and I hope some blue sky skiing days too.

*Zephaniah 3:20 (NIV)

When Death is Finally Defeated

When I stand by the graveside of a loved one I’m struck by the finality of it all. And honestly often I’m plagued by doubts. Maybe you are too.

Jesus told a parable about the kingdom of heaven being like a net thrown from a boat gathering up fish. Then he concludes, “They sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. This is how it will be at the end of the age.”*

Unfortunately, that’s been used to scare people into a relationship with God. Yet, I don’t believe Jesus intended it that way.

Personally I see comfort in it.

When this life ends it really isn’t the end. We’re promised Heaven. There we’ll be with God and our loved ones.

He offers this to everyone. I think when we get to Heaven we’ll be surprised by some who are there. Heck, maybe some will be surprised by us.

In the end, though, there are some who completely reject God and choose to live apart from him so God finally gives them what they wanted.

Yet, also realize this doesn’t depend on us swimming into the net. But simply accepting the love God offers.


*Matthew 13:48-49 (NIV)

Finding Hope When Face to Face with Death

I would guess most of us, when faced with the death of a loved one, have doubts assail us. I’m sure there are some with immovable faith. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those.

And grappling with death brings out the worst of my questions.

So in those times it helps me to re-read promises and stories from scripture.

Jesus told a parable that I find comforting. “The kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore.”*

I find this comforting because God takes the initiative to gather up his followers. It’s not because they navigated perfectly into the net but because God in his love draws them in.

Also, he offers his kingdom to everyone. No predetermination. No entrance exam. Everyone is welcome.

In a sense, all I can do is relax and choose to be a part of it. I can’t gain more of it or lose any it.

I enter in simply by accepting it. Really, how could it be any other way?

And when I remember those things it helps calm the storm clouds of doubt.


*Matthew 13:47-48 (NIV)

Death Sucks!

I hate death!

A few days ago I conducted my mother-in-law’s funeral. A year ago my father-in-law’s. Twelve years ago my dad’s and 10 months later my mom’s.

I hate the finality. That loved one I’ll no longer enjoy.

Oh, I’m often thankful when their suffering ends. But I hate saying goodbye.

I also hate that it always causes me twinges of doubt about this place we call Heaven.

On a good day I believe. But I’ll tell you when I’m standing beside a grave, looking at a casket, doubt creeps in again.

I hate that.

How dare it intrude in this solemn occasion? How dare it sneak in uninvited and crash this gathering? And how dare it do this when I’m conducting a funeral?

Sometimes I wonder, “God why is it so hard sometimes for me to believe?”

Then I think, “Perhaps it’s hard for a lot of people at times and I need to let others know it’s ok.”

And because when I’m standing by a grave it reminds me this life is incredibly short so don’t waste a minute.

Then I choose to rest again in believing Heaven is for real and I will be with my loved ones there someday.

And that is enough.

When You Just Feel Like Giving Up

Number 41 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” Stories and promises of Jesus that show us the awesome blessings we can experience each day. I hope it encourages you!


A few days ago I was talking on the phone with a friend who’s been through more than her share. Several hip surgeries, two replacements, cancer and recently a knee replacement. Yet, through it all she can laugh and see the bright side.

I said, “So how’s your knee?”

She replied, “Actually I’m walking well. But I was in the kitchen a couple of days ago and didn’t realize my dog was behind me. I fell over him and the doctor thinks I’ve fractured a vertebrae. I just can’t seem to catch a break.”

First time I’d ever heard her down.



Photo Credit: Reza Vaziri

Photo Credit: Reza Vaziri


I imagine we can all relate. We’ve had days when we’re worn out then one more thing hits us. And we think, “Ugh, not something else.”

So maybe we go to church and that Sunday hear, “God is just testing your faith.”


I’ve wanted to scream, “Enough already! I’m a spiritual wimp, ok?”


[Read more…]

Your Problems Don’t Surprise God

Most of time we have our lives all wrapped up in neat little boxes.  God’s tucked away in his proper box.  We’re following tidy three step plans for success.  Living under the radar.

Then wham we get smacked by the unexpected.

And we think, “What happened?  Where is God?  How could he let this happen?”

And it leaves us wondering, “Can and will God help me?  Is this one is beyond his power or concern?” [Read more…]