I wait in hope for your salvation, God. —Genesis 49:18 MSG
When Ms. Reality Check comes rapping at my heart’s door, I find her too blunt. (“Yes, that does make your butt look big!”) What she says is truth, which is sometimes brutal and hard to bear. (It might do her—and us—good if she would dip her insights into mercy’s pool before wrapping us up in them.)
Some of us answer, “I knew life wouldn’t be perfect, but I thought it would be easier than this.” We’re told repeatedly in Scripture to prepare for hardships, so why do we believe our lives should be characterized by ease? Do you think it might be the hope of heaven within us that makes us willing to risk expecting the best? Or is it fantasy? Or denial? My best guess is that we flutter about like a butterfly to the flowers of hope, fantasy, and denial, depending on the situation and our ability to bear it.
Hope is a buoy to help keep our heads above the waterline of reality. Yet when we depend on it to be our protection against difficulties, we deflate it, and hope becomes a weighted sinker that drags down our faith. Hope doesn’t announce that life is safe and therefore we will be safe; instead, it whispers that Christ is our safety in the midst of harsh reality, heartbreak, and disappointment. In his presence, we experience his tender mercies and care for our bruised emotions.
From Daily Gifts of Grace ©2012 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.