Death is gain

Yesterday, Saturday, I spent all day on a boat. It was hot and sunny. It was a perfect day to spend on a boat with friends. We went tubing. We swam. We barbecued burgers and brauts. We laid out in the sun. We walked around in the shallows. We watched fireworks over head at night. I got home late and slept like a rock. It was a good day.

Today I went to church. I love going to church. We went to lunch afterwards. I had an omelette. Then we spent the afternoon lounging around a pool. I spent the day with good friends. We discussed church, the Holy Spirit, beer and our weeks. “That’s what I love about Sundays.” This was a great weekend. Good friends, good times, good weather.

Tonight I visited the hospital. My grandpa’s in room 4775. The same hospital I was born in. Some of my cousins and my aunt were there too. After a few minutes my dad and stepmom got there too. It was a party in grandpa’s room. My cousins left, my aunt left, my dad and stepmom left. Soon it was just grandpa and me. I love sitting with him and talking with him. He has amazing stories. I can’t remember a time in my 33 years that I haven’t been fascinated by his stories.

As he shared his stories, he also shared with me the pain he was in and his thoughts. He believes in God. Very much so. He asks God’s forgiveness regularly and acknowledges he will sin again. He believes God helps him sometimes when he prays. He doesn’t believe in heaven or hell. He believes when you die you rot. That’s it. As I listened I thought, if this is it, what’s the point?

I don’t know if the Bible is all true. I don’t know if anything I believe is true. I hope it is. I have faith the Bible is true. But it’s not called faith because we can prove it. So I decide to believe it. I have to. And here’s what I’ve figured out…

Paul was right. To die is gain. It has to be. Or at least that’s what I’ll tell myself everyday until then. Because if this life is as good as it gets (and I do enjoy my life), I don’t think I can go on. So I will tell myself that to die is gain. Because there’s got to be something better than this.

I love the sunsets and sunrises. I love a child’s laugh. I love the warm embrace of a good friend. But in the end, we all die alone. And I believe, if God is good, he meant us for something greater than this. There has got be a heaven… because I need there to be. I just can’t believe that this is all we’re made for.

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55)

Death should be no scary thing.
Death has no victory.
Death has no sting.

With Christ, death is transformed from terror to sweet relief. Yes, to die must be gain. When I die I will not rot. When I die, I will live.

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