Professor Walter Brueggeman’s, statement at an Abilene Christian University speaking engagement drew my attention. I immediately wrote it down. One more grain of truth aimed at my fallen state.
There is no room for arrogance. I live the pattern from the garden fall. I hurt and I hope for a better time.
Sometimes I wonder how God can stand the accumulated pain of His children. Like others, I have passed through times of intense hurt. Unlike some, my little hurts are minor in comparison.
Last night, I did not sleep on the mountain of garbage outside of Cairo. I didn’t scrounge for something to fill my stomach. I set my alarm but had no fear of an armed raid on my house. I do not live with the deep hurts of war. I do not live with the haunting unknown terror of death. Most likely my life span is already double of what it would have been had I not had access to medical care. Around the globe far too many die young. Their families cry in painful despair.
Although, it may not be as intense as some experience—I hurt since I am human.
With fellow travelers, I too experience hope. There is empty hope, there is lost hope, and there is trusting hope.
Empty hope and lost hope are connected. The global majority live their life on these two plains. Empty hope describes those who hurt while hoping life will get better. It may be in the form of a meal, medical care, or a dry place to sleep. Even though temporary, hunger pains relax, sickness pauses, or an old coat appears. The soul still lacks cure and the cold emptiness returns.
The poor aren’t alone on the road of empty hope. We the affluent can join the traffic flow. The next advertisement offers the solution for the hurt. It promises to give more to address the pain of the moment. The promise is empty. Hurt always returns.
After years of the empty hope cycle, some give up to never hope again. What an incomprehensible and miserable state. All hope is lost. These people may end their own life.
Although not to the same degree, I join with the world in my hurt. Hurt will not disappear until Jesus comes to take me to the Garden. However, my hope is different from the global majority.
Until hurt disappears, I want to live with trusting hope. Trust is not so much an adjective as it is another word for hope. Faith also falls into the list of hope synonyms. Hope, trust, and faith, all imply with an absolute confidence that hurt is limited by time.
Hurt will one day stop. Pain, hunger, and death will all pass. My hope is real because God made the promise and no promise of God has ever gone unfulfilled. Because of Jesus, hope trumps fear.
Since my hope is in Jesus, He assures me of His presence to get me through whatever hurt I may encounter on earth. That is good enough for me. I’m moving toward the Garden of God.
Stay tuned. – Gary J. Sorrells