Hope Eternal

I stood there with tears streaming down my face.  The door to the past was closed.  The future uncertain.  Trust was at its lowest.  Fear loomed large.  I cried out to my God.  Please show me hope.  Show me hope today.

Later that morning, as I stood in the rain with my dog, I looked over and saw signs of spring.  Purple hyacinths were popping their heads out of the green.  The yellow of daffodils was opening.  The leaves of the bleeding hearts were rising from the ground.  Peonies were poking through the soil.  I saw hope.  Even in the rain, hope was around me.  Hope of better days.  Hope of new beginnings.  Hope of building trust again.

I saw hope on another day.  Male cardinals vying for the female’s attention.  Loud chirping.  Swooping tails in flight.  Chasing each other through the branches.  I saw hope.  Hope for rebirth.  Hope for renewal.  Hope for dreams fulfilled.

Perhaps there was hope for me.  A phone call.  An encouraging text.  A lunch and movie.  Time with friends.  Renewal.  Rest.  Reset.  Hope.


But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.  For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it?  Isaiah 43:18-19


The Israelites had been mistreated for far too long.  They were waiting for a savior.  One to rescue them.  One to right their wrongs.  Oh.  Their suffering became worse before it ended.  Perhaps hope did wane.  Discouragement can cloud hope when it seems as if God isn’t listening.

But God was listening.  He heard their cries.  God offered hope when He sent Moses to deliver them.  And God delivered His people in a mighty way.  Miracle after miracle flowed from his fingertips into their lives.  God proved with his mighty hand that he was in control every step of the way.  God destroyed their enemy in front of their very eyes.

Then Moses turned again to the Lord and said, “O Lord, why have you mistreated this people? Why did you ever send me? Since I first came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has mistreated this people, and you have done nothing at all to deliver your people.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh: Indeed, by a mighty hand he will let them go; by a mighty hand he will drive them out of his land.”  Exodus 5:22-61 NRSV

This is Easter Week.  Holy Week.  Just the name implies hope.  But in order to see that hope appear, horrible events took place.  The sentencing of an innocent man.  Sentenced to death on a cross.

When Jesus cried out asking why God had forsaken him, I wonder if God turned to him and said.  Now you shall see what I will do by my mighty hand. 

Did Jesus see hope as he was dying on the cross?  Did he see hope for you?  For me?

Oh.  Two days later as he left the tomb very much alive, hope came in a bright light.  Hope rolled the stone away from his tomb.  Hope breathed life into his torn body. Hope shown through him as he appeared to Mary Magdalene.  Hope appeared as he showed his scarred hands to Thomas.

This was a different hope. This was a new hope.  This was hope eternal. Everlasting hope.

Today the daffodil bloomed.

Life Isn’t Fair

In recent weeks, I’ve stood with families of two women who were in the prime of their life. Lives cut short. Husbands left widowed. One with young children. One with young grandchildren.  Parents and siblings left behind.

Two women.  40-somethings. Lives cut short by an awful disease.  Strangers to each other but known by so many.  Both lovers of God and lovers of people.  They both loved deeply and were deeply loved.

Taken too soon.  That’s what we say.  But God knows.  He planned their lives.  He allowed the suffering.  He called them home before we were ready to release them.

That’s how it is.  We’re never ready to let go of family.   We’re never ready to let go of friends.   We have memories.  But we want more to make memories.  We want what we had.  The good times.  The face-to-face interactions.  The laughs.  The hugs.  We want more than memories.

I’ve stood on the receiving side of grief.  I know the pain.  I know the heartache.  The whispers of comfort from friends and family.

We may ask why.  Why them?  Why so soon?  Wasn’t there more they could have accomplished in life?  Why wasn’t a cure found for their disease?  Didn’t their families still need them?  Weren’t they too young?

It’s hard to understand when we lose loved ones.  Especially when they’re so young.  It’s sometimes hard to understand why God allows such things to happen.


Life isn’t fair. But God is good. 

Pain is hard to understand. But God is good. 

Loss is tough. But God is good. 

Grief is trying. But God is good. 

The unknown looms ahead.  But God is good.


These women are now walking the streets of gold.  They’ve seen the face of God.  They’ve met Jesus.  They’ve been welcomed into heaven’s gates.  They’ve received their final reward.

My mother used to say. I’m ready to go, but I’m not in any hurry.  After her death, I thought she was probably kicking herself for not being in a hurry.  She was in heaven.  Life’s ultimate reward.

These two women weren’t in any hurry, either.  They were ready.  But they had reason to live.  Family.  Friends.  Faith.  But God called them home.  Their time on earth was short.  Too short in our eyes.

The clock is ticking for all.  Our time will come.  Fair or not.  Will we be ready?