GodReflection: A Secure Grip On Hope.
My great uncle, Dr. Puckett, like many, planned his future with facts at hand. However, due to circumstances out of his control, after ten years of investment in his ranch vision among the tall green grass of Hope, New Mexico he hit a brick wall. His hope in the future of the ranch and its sustenance evaporated with the New Mexico desert heat. As the ranch closed, all time, money, and energy invested were lost.
What the six brothers did not count on was the disappearance of the Rio Penasco. For no apparent reason, the clear stream that fed the ranch lands and thriving orchards went underground and cut Hope off from its water supply. The grass failed to grow. The once lush land gave way to the grip of the Chihuahuan Desert. Hope dried and dimmed. Hope was lost.
As I re-read family records, I found an obvious parallel. It is the storyline of the life of every person who does life on planet earth. What happens when hope is lost? The answer to that question determines not only my success in this life but also my eternal destiny.
From the Garden to the Book of Revelation, Scripture is packed with story after story of men and women who witnessed the tall green grass of hope wither, dry, and die.
No story in the Bible is quite as dark and drastic as the one related by the Gospels of the experience faced by Jesus’ closest family and followers between Friday and Sunday. Every hope of a new life, every truth they had come to believe, and ever relief they expected to receive from Jesus their Messiah and Savior died along with him that Friday on a cross. Hope was lost. Hope was dead.
The elephant in the room of my life appears each time I arrive face to face with the fact—life is not under my control. Sure, I plan the future with information at hand. However, within the DNA of reality are facts beyond the grasp and control of my human limitations. The truth is God is in control, not the committee of me, myself, and I.
Sunday changed history. The Holy not only raised Jesus from the grip of death that Jerusalem Sunday morning, but his breath also returned to hope that died the previous Friday. Hope arose to eternal life.
Back to New Mexico. The creation damaged, yet Creator God remained in control. In 1926, a door opened for the bankrupt doctor to move sixty miles south to the town of Carlsbad as a fulltime health official for Eddy County. It was there where I came to know him as one of the most influential persons of my formative years.
Dr. Puckett was a disciple of Jesus. Throughout his life he experienced loss greater than the dream of the Hope, New Mexico, ranch. Along his path he mourned the death of a much-loved son Edward who died suddenly at the age of four. Over a lifetime he grieved the death of parents, brothers, and sisters. Like all of us he knew firsthand the light of earthly hope only to see it snuffed out through the pain of loss.
Dr. Puckett caught the light from that same open Sunday morning tomb near Jerusalem. From that light, just as with his parents and nine siblings, he allowed the Holy to graft the gifts of Faith, Hope, and Love, onto the family tree as a message to us who follow.
As I see it the message is clear. When we see earthly hope slip from our hands and suffer loss; Jesus reminds us through his Spirit who lives within, there is a Hope we cannot lose. It is sustained for eternity by Faith and Love—with the greatest being Love demonstrated by the God who came and gave himself for the likes of us.
Yes, we all experience loss as we walk across life. But there is good news. We have come to know that hope born from Eternal Jesus is ours forever. Isn’t it great to know our hope is secure and can never be lost?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on, When Hope is Lost.