Friday, March 24, 2017

Hope Was Never Meant to Be Buried


Over the past couple of years I have taught a Sunday school class to a group of Pre-K/Kindergarten students. We have revisited stories that are all more or less familiar to me and the children, the story of Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection, the story of the Israelite peoples’ redemption from slavery out of Egypt and their journey through the wilderness to the Promised Land. This spring we are revisiting the Book of Genesis and going through the stories of the first families God called to be a people unto Himself. As you can see we have been journeying through the Bible in somewhat of a nonlinear fashion – hehe. Whether in Genesis or in the Gospel of Matthew, the curriculum we use does an excellent job of tying in Jesus Christ and the Gospel into each and every lesson.

I have to confess, when I first started teaching Sunday school, my heart was not really in it. My heart was not in much of anything at that time. I was coming away from my brother’s death, leaving the remnants of all my ambition and the place I called home behind me, and I had arrived at what seemed to be a spiritual wilderness. I had my hope but it seemed to be buried underneath an avalanche of pain, sorrow, resentment, confusion, and shame. I had lost it somewhere in my past or so it seemed.

This season of life – this year – has already brought about remarkable change for me, my family, and my church family and there is still so much ahead. Some prospects are sad. Some are incredibly happy. All of it intimidates me. Parts of my life are about to become remnants of the past. New life is about to spring forward. Life is forever this strange paradox of pain, hope, joy, and sorrow all mixed together.

I have shared before on here about emotional regression and how the two years following my brother’s death were defined by a lot of emotional regression, a constant striving after and yearning for the past. I recently revisited the story of the Fall – Sunday School lesson again – the story of the first violation against God ever committed. I wonder how many years Adam and Eve waited for a Savior who would redeem them, for the day God would welcome back into the Garden. I wonder how many years they spent yearning for the past – for that perfect fellowship with God and the innocence, peace, beauty, and harmony they had lost in this world.

Nevertheless, I don’t believe they died believing hope was buried somewhere behind them. Because they kept telling the stories to the children, they kept passing down the story of God’s creation, the Fall, God’s covenant with his people, and the promise of salvation. They told these stories for generations until they were eventually documented by the Spirit-inspired hands of Moses and many other men that followed until they finally reached our hands. We have the whole story now and we know they were not wrong in holding onto hope.  

Here is the thing about pain. You have to walk far enough away from it and you have to keep walking for some time before you actually believe better things are ahead, before you believe that your hope is not buried in the past. We humans can be so shortsighted. We place our hope in people, money, princes, rulers, policies, and nations. But hope is the stuff of eternity. It’s untouchable, unbreakable, and embodied in the Son of God who waits for us standing at the right hand of God. 

This life is not long but it is hard and there are days when we face a stormy ocean with death at our backs, and it’s hard to believe there is anything ahead, any escape or way through this. On those days, wait for the sea to part. Wait for God to act. Search expectantly for his might and power. Keep searching, even if it takes months and years. Keep waiting expectantly. Our God does not forget His children. He will make a way.

But never, ever believe that hope is behind you. Hope was never meant to be buried.

We will sing to our souls
We won’t bury our hope
Where He leads us to go
There’s a Red Sea Road
When we can’t see the way
He will part the waves
And we’ll never walk alone
Down a Red Sea Road. 
-Ellie Holcomb, "Red Sea Road"

5 comments :

  1. What a touching post! Thanks for sharing it and encouraging those of us who are weak of heart!

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    1. Thank you so much! And you're very welcome. :)

      Dani xoxo

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  2. Thank you for the encouragement. I needed to hear it today.

    storitorigrace.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Victoria! Thank you for sharing. :)

      Dani xoxo

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  3. Lovely post! :) I think the greatest thing we have to hope for is someday being face to face with our Savior, even if it means hard times in our earthly life never even end. As Christians, our hope is a precious thing!

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