Abiding in Hope

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)

 I know there are people who strongly dislike the word I’m about to write, and when I was in youth group, we had to put a quarter in the equivalent of a “swear jar” for saying this word, but I’m going to use it anyway. I’m warning you now, I use it a lot in this entry. Consider yourself warned.

Sometimes the faith journey, the life journey we tread just SUCKS.

I realize this isn’t a great way to start out a new blog talking about how sucky life can be, but seriously, life sucks right now… and as much as that is just the honest way I’m feeling about things, I admit that I feel guilty for even saying that. I just came back from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. There I learned from amazing people like the Rev.J. Herbert Nelson, the director of our Presbyterian Office of Public Witness Policy in Washington, DC about justice issues that hit my heart and quite frankly made me mad at the way in which our government and we are responding or not responding. Issues like the need for prison reform and the politics of politics.

Clearly, there are things that suck way beyond my own little petty things. There is much suffering beyond myself that also hits my heart and enters my prayers. All of that added the self-centered creature that I am sometimes really makes me want to just say life sucks. God is good, but sometimes the life God places in front of me or the circumstances God puts me in or the issues God makes me care about sucks.

And I guess that’s the interesting thing about faith and life and living it. God never promised me that following Jesus would be easy to do. That sounds really trite, but seriously, following God’s call with a real life that sometimes gets in the way loaded with heartaches and heartbreaks, transitions, changes, brokenness, and bad news from the doctor…sometimes you just have to go numb to do what needs to be done.

But being the eternal optimist that I am, I am still abiding in hope. Because even with all the sucky-ness that life brings sometimes, whether it’s personal or communal, I do rest in the hope I have in the faith that I have not only found but preach about.

So even if the road seems long and endless, at least the skies are beautiful. I may not really be rejoicing in hope right now, but I am abiding in it. It’s the best I can do for now.

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