Where do you place your hope?Mar 22, 2021 02:18PM ● By Andrew Marais, Christ Center
“It is only by facing and accepting the reality of my coming death that I can become authentically alive.” - Bishop Kallistos Ware
A microscopic little thing came upon the earth. It stopped us in our tracks. It paralyzed whole industries like travel, restaurants and the world of entertainment. In parts of the world, it crashed health care systems and overwhelmed the business of burying the dead. It caused us to doubt our livelihoods, our security and the span of our lives.
In this one respect, COVID-19 did us a favor. It forced us to take stock of our lives, to consider what moves us and, most importantly, where we place our hope.
It’s often only the death of a close loved one that can tear away the blissful ignorance we prefer concerning the meaning and purpose of our short lives. It was the death of our 17-year-old son in a car accident that forced Gerda and me to reassess how we wanted to live our lives. Our exuberance about life was tempered by the stark realization that this life will end. But, it also refocused us on the life to come because we have a son on the other side of death, resting in the arms of Christ.
Given this eternal hope, we are less given to fear and more driven by what needs to be crammed in before we lay down our own heads someday.
Released from the “burdens” of life, we became privileged participants in and observers of the eternal work of God—a work that’s not stopped by the curse of death. On the contrary, death becomes a great mercy that releases us from the temporal world and its cursed distractions and welcomes us into God’s eternal presence through faith in Jesus Christ.
Years ago, when Gerda and I surrendered our lives to Jesus Christ, we didn’t know what the future would hold. Since then, we’ve experienced much hardship and many challenges. But, we also feel blessed because we were able to always rest in God’s grace, assured of His loving provision for us. Serving God—the one who sacrificed his son to restore our relationship with him—gave us spiritual security, deep joy and an abiding sense of purpose.
How does one find this security, joy and purpose? It’s hard, but simple.
The hard part is admitting to yourself that there’s something missing in your life, you tried to make it on your own and you’ve failed. That you have no hope, now or beyond the grave.
The simple part is opening your eyes to see Jesus Christ for who he is. He’s the son of God, who came to die for us so that our empty, wasted efforts could be covered by his love and blood. Next, put your hope in his death and resurrection by giving yourself and the rest of your life to him as he gave himself to make your spirit whole. Find a Christian to walk you through this, asking that person to continue encouraging and teaching you as the life of God starts taking root inside you.
It’s a challenging but most rewarding journey towards an eternity joyfully and peacefully spent with God.