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.

Finding Peace When Faced with Death

Number 26 in the series “God Rocks: 101 Amazing Everyday Gifts!” Stories and promises of the awesome blessings God gives us each day. I hope it encourages you today!


My father-in-law passed away a few days ago.

No matter how many times I’ve faced the death of a loved one I’m still always blindsided. Partly by grief and partly by the doubts that assail me. Doubts I thought I’d already dealt with.


Photo Credit:  Beverly

Photo Credit: Beverly


“Will I see him again? How can I know for sure? Is Heaven real? Who’s there? Will I be there?”

I know, coming from a spiritually focused writer and ex-pastor, you’re shocked perhaps. I mean I’m supposed to have it all together, right? Well, not always.

I find the love expressed by friends and family tremendously supporting. But I also often find the platitudes given do little to calm the storm.


So I wrestle again and try to find that peace.


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