Sadly, some were missing. My father-in-law, my sister-in-law, and a grandson were missing. My father-in-law has stepped into his eternal reward. The others were missing because we live in a sinful, dysfunctional world which seems to be most impactful for me around the holiday season. No matter how full the day may seem, there's a little emptiness that just can't be filled.
It's then we turn to hope. There is an earthly hope. We "hope" that things will change and work out for the best. We "hope" that next year everyone can be there. We "hope" that situations and circumstances and people will be different. We hope that Penn State will win a football game. My grandson "hoped" that he wouldn't get pie in the face. We "hope."
For me, love is what keeps hope alive. Even when love hurts, it causes us to hope, and dream... and pray. Prayers are what give wings to hope as they ascend to a Father who is the Great Redeemer, the God of Impossibility, the All-mighty one, the one who can make our hopes reality. And as our hopes reach Heaven's gates, the Father looks to see if they are fueled by faith. And if they are, then hope is no longer tentative. At that moment, they become an answer. When prayers are according to God's Will ( found in His Word) and are filled with faith in the One who spoke that Word, then hope becomes surety. And surety becomes sight. And sight becomes reality. And reality becomes a dream come true, those dreams that were born in hope.
I have hope that I will see my father-in-law again. There's not a doubt in my mind. I have hope that circumstances here on earth will change as I pray and believe that God will accomplish His will in each situation. I've seen Him do it so many times when "hope" and a dream were all I had. When my hopes traveled on nothing more than a wing and a faith-filled prayer. I know God is able. I know God is willing. I know that He will. There is nothing touching me that is hopeless if I will put my trust in the Lord.
Ps 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Today, I am thankful for (the God Kind of) hope