August 1996
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A Better Place

When death invades our lives, we need a sanctuary—a place of safety that gives us a glimmer of hope against an oppressive backdrop of sorrow. This was never more clear to pastor John Claypool than in the days following the death of his young daughter.

The Sunday after the funeral, Claypool told his congregation that he loved the promise in Isaiah 40:31 of renewed strength to those who trust the Lord. But on that morning his spirit was not soaring as an eagle, nor was he running. In fact, he said, he was barely walking.

Claypool did find strength and courage, though, to survive his loss in another passage—John 14. As he read about Jesus’ promise to believers that they will be with Him in heaven, Claypool began to find comfort. He was confident that Jesus had prepared a better place for his daughter—and that she was with the Lord. “The only thing that keeps me going,” he told his listeners, “is the promise that my daughter is in the arms of Jesus.”

Our Savior is preparing a better place for all who have put their trust in Him. It’s not just a future hope; it’s also a present reality—a reality that gives us the comfort we need to face the death of someone close.

The death of people whom we love
Brings sorrow and deep pain;
But if our loved ones know the Lord,
Our loss becomes their gain. —Sper

Our greatest comfort in sorrow is to know that Jesus lives.