A Living Hope

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you…(1 Peter 1: 3-4 NIV).

When you have been friends as long as we have it isn’t unusual for you to sense when something is amiss, even at a distance. Even so, I was surprised when the day after a minor mishap sent me to urgent care for stitches, out of the blue my childhood friend texted me saying I had been on her mind for several days. As we brought each other up to date on our respective worlds, it became apparent her problems far eclipsed mine.

I knew her husband suffered from dementia, but its rapid progression has become alarming. She explained that she struggles along with him as he tries to reach through the mental fog to communicate. Even his basic self-help skills have deteriorated, leaving her to rejoice in the small victories of him still being able to feed and dress himself. Yet in the midst of all this tragedy, what struck me most about her revelations was the steely faith that ran like a silver thread throughout them.

Sandwiched between the words “faith” and “love” in the summation of the famous Love Chapter in the Bible (1 Corinthians 13) is the word “hope.” It is largely overlooked in the teaching of the scriptures, yet life is intolerable without hope, as is evidenced by the skyrocketing suicide rate among those desperate for the peace that only comes from well-grounded beliefs.

For believers, hope isn’t just a life circle to be embraced like a drowning man when the prospect of death looms. Rather, it involves day to day encouragement which makes it possible to weather the buffeting on life’s sea of trials and disappointment. 

While my friend has the good grace to have come to terms with what the future here on earth may hold for her and her husband, her sights are set beyond the horizon, where a bright future with their Lord and Maker awaits them both. Circumstances haven’t dimmed that hope, but rather enhanced it. 

Heavenly Father, May we train our sights on the glory you have promised us rather than focusing on the troubles we face here on earth. Amen.

Carol (NC)