Jesus is the Hope
The word of God boldly proclaims a future, a hope for all of us. Those promises look wonderful in greeting cards and inspirational memes. But when tragedy strikes without warning, do those promises stand?
We know that God is good. All the time.
And yet a mere 7 miles down the road a friend of mine is mourning the very sudden very unexpected death of her one year old baby boy. A boy we prayed over while he was still safe inside his mama’s womb. A boy who blessed his family with a year of contagious smiles and love. A boy who now waits for his mama and daddy in heaven.
And it seems so wrong. How could that be God’s plan? To rip a child from his family and leave them with a hole in their lives and their hearts. A gaping wound that will not heal. Pie crust promises.
And yet His word takes us from that dark place and shows us that we are not alone in our suffering.
We see Job. He lost seven sons and three daughters. He lost all of his worldly possessions. He was stricken with painful sores all over his body. In his pain and grief he says:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” Job 1:21
It is a picture of profound suffering and faith.
“His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble? In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.” Job 2: 9-10
And yet that kind of faith seems almost impossible. We want to rail against God. We want to scream. To weep. To cry out the unfairness of it all.
And we do. And He responds.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.” Job 38:4
God we are furious. We are hurt. We do not understand. We weren’t there. We can’t see things the way You see them. And You know that. You made us. You know every single hair on our heads. You know that we could not possibly understand the purpose of a parent burying a child. And You understand.
You came to us as a baby boy. You grew to be a man of sorrows, despised and rejected. You wore a crown of thorns. You were hung on a cross, the sacrifice for all mankind. You suffered. You died. You rose again.
You waste nothing. Every single thing You do has a purpose. Precious Baby Boy had a purpose.
We may never understand this side of heaven. And yet His promises endure. In the depths of our grief we must cling to the Hope that is Jesus Christ. Without that Hope, there is nothing but grief that will eat us alive.
The Hope of our Risen Savior and the empty grave. O, that this life is but a prelude to eternity.
So while they are cloaked in the deepest sadness, with eyes that cannot seem to cease leaking and arms that ache to hold their precious boy, they can know–we can know, that He understands. He is there. He has a purpose. And we are not alone.
“The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” Psalm 46:7
“The Lord has made everything for its own purpose,…” Proverbs 16:4
“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You.” Psalm 39:7
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4