Hope in the Unfailing

My children’s artwork ministers to my soul…
Earlier this week, on what felt like a hopeless day, I wrote
this, feeling as though the darkness were closing in:
“Our good friend is fighting, but seemingly losing–inch by
excruciating inch.
Cancer’s sunk its death claws deep in his failing flesh, and
it’s agonizing to watch. To process. To try–in vain–to help. Two precious
young girls and a wife. That just as
easily
could have been us. Sickening to the core. Makes me want to scream
and kick and flail like a toddler before my Father, who sees all and knows all…holds
the whys I desperately seek.
Today, in the ugly face of it all, all I could muster, all I
could conclude in the nonsensical weight over the runaway train speeding
hopelessly downhill, all I could surmise in the glaring headlights of all the
insidious imminence, was this: Life’s TOO
DANG HARD
(not to be accused of inauthenticity, the actual verbiage that
spilled from my lips was far more impassioned and…colorful. Ahem. We’ll just leave it at that.)
This, from a Christ follower who supposedly holds fast to
hope in the Unfailing One. But it was freeing to admit, all the same. Our world
seems entirely consumed by evil at times—like a discarded picnic blanketed by
an army of ants. And it’s not on its way out—it’s only just begun. So we may as
well call it like it is, and clear the air of pretense.”
When we look at the condition of the world today—yes, even the
church—it’s easy to go to despair. The forecast seems bleak. Clouded over by
unspeakable evils that we’d frankly prefer to turn a blind eye to, so raw and filthy
is their reality; so sordid, their ramifications…not to mention oppressive circumstances
beyond our control that blindside us, threatening to rob our peace, joy and
vigor. And annilhilate our hope.   
Sometimes life’s weight simply deflates us. And it’s at
these times, when we’ve just plain bottomed out, that we have nowhere to look
but up. We NEED hope like oxygen—without
it, we can’t go on. And it’s all we
need to lift us out of the deepest of quagmires, the lowest of lows.
That day, through tears I texted my husband, “Nonsensical
painful mess. Can’t even grapple with it all. So sad and hopeless it all seems
sometimes…”
He was quick to remind me in his reply: “Nothing is
hopeless. God is on His throne. Today and forever.” Ah, yes. It was just the brisk
shove I needed to return me squarely to the truth. In Christ, there is always HOPE–that (good) four letter
word our pastor spoke on, last Sunday—when he uttered the one-liner that’s
destined to stick with me for life: “Our hope is not in this world.” Amen and Amen. And thank Heaven. (No, it
wasn’t an original thought, but earth shattering and timely, just the same.)
Later as I walked outside, the slight bite in the fall
breeze, rustling through the crimson arbor overhead on that gloriously sunlit
afternoon, ministered to my soul in a way only the Creator can, through His favored
medium–creation.

In the illumination, His Spirit boiled it down for me: the
only place to go from my despondence was to my knees–in sheer thankfulness. For
the very life that can seem so desperately void of hope at times. For the
precious young ones my husband and I are privileged to hold and mold daily. For
each other. For the beauty we behold
in creation, community, and yes, even in our deteriorating world—for, through
the tears, we’re given eyes to behold the blessing, however shrouded by Satan’s
schemes…Yes, life’s a GIFT—every breath…(And
so the scope broadens, like the eye’s iris, letting in Light, allowing perspective
to do its work in the beaten-down, life-weary soul—a thing of redemptive beauty
to behold…)
…At the end of this trying week, hope unfurled gloriously like a delicate springtime blossom, with
the news that our friend’s surgeon successfully eradicated the tumor blocking
his intestine…Nothing is hopeless
…We sang in church yesterday, “My Anchor holds within the
veil” (From the song “Cornerstone”)…“We have this hope as an anchor for the
soul, firm and secure. It enters the
inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on
our behalf.” Hebrews 6:19 (NIV, emphasis mine)
And there you have it. Hope
Unfailing.
It’s ALL we need—nailed to that rugged cross with our Almighty Benefactor,
it will anchor us through the most wretched and blessed of times in this earthly
existence.
Come to the River…
“For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my
youth.” Psalm 71:5 (NKJV)
Personalize…

Did you desperately need that reminder today, like I did
this week? Then let me repeat it for good measure: Our hope is not in this world. May we never forget it!

One thought on “Hope in the Unfailing

  1. Yes…LIFE…IS…HARD! It is so easy to be consumed with all the happenings around us that weigh heavy on our heart. It seems unbearable sometimes…to see our fellow brethren in Christ struggle and face tragedy. Not even to mention the international threats of disease and terror. If it let it consume me, I will drown. Our hope is anchored within the veil…Christ alone…Cornerstone! Yes, and Amen! Praise God for the good report from your friend's surgeon. God is faithful!

    I love how the Lord speaks "peace and reassurance" to us through his beautiful creation. Nothing ministers to me like the glorious autumn palette. It is a balm to my soul, truly. Paula

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