Remaining Hopeful

There was a time not long ago, in a place not far away, when men foretold of a coming king who would free the oppressed, feed the hungry, and ward off evil. He would bring order to chaos and ensure peace where there had long been strife. Presumably, he would be a great warrior, well-trained and possessing every receivable advantage.

You can imagine the lack of confidence one might have felt then when informed that that king had arrived by way of a baby born to a set of harvest-to-harvest type parents, common and plain. For those for whom this news was not at best merely frivolous entertainment, it may have been a source of considerable despair.

Imagining ourselves as one of those people, who were for generations enslaved, waiting desperately for a prophecy to be fulfilled, it was likely very disheartening and perhaps even insulting to hear that that longtime prayer had been answered in so fragile a way. Like a farmer who plants an entire vineyard only to find a single sprout, so must have God’s people felt when their long-awaited savior was presented to them in the form of a ghetto-born baby.

How could from this come that which we have for so long waited?

Similarly, some 33-ish years later, a team of young men would sit and have supper with their leader; a man whom they trusted with their lives to lead them into the new kingdom. All except one eagerly looked forward to his reign.

We can imagine again then what it must have been like to have been one of those young men the following Saturday morning after having watched their leader slain. Humiliated and hung, the said-to-be savior who had once given life to a dead man was now himself dead and buried, likely along with any hope he’d once offered.

Imagine how silent that weekend must have been. Imagine the despair of the disciples as they prayed to a God who seemingly afforded them no attention.

But God would not be mocked. And his power would be made clear not only in what he could provide (Earth), but also in what he could endure. The giver of life died so that he and we could live anew.

Therefore, brother and sister, be not discouraged. “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” For the Lord is not without a plan, and he will before long reveal to us what we cannot yet see; that he is sovereign, and he is in control.

It will be okay.

Praise be to God.