When All Is Stripped Away
"My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus Name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand."
I sat in the hospital the other day with a couple I have known for a many years. They are in their eighties, and he just had surgery, of which didn't bear good news.
There were tears; I could see disappointment in his eyes. He didn't want her to leave for the evening and we arranged for an extra bed to be in his room. They are inseparable. She leaned over the tubes and wires connecting him to monitors and IV's and kissed him on the forehead. "We are in His hands," she said. He closed his eyes and tear rolled down his cheek.
In the midst of pain and struggle the surety of their life was in the strength, mercy, and grace of God. When their prayers weren't answered in they way they wanted, they rested in the providence of God. When questions of doubt drifted from their lips their final words were for God's will to be done, and they were were at peace.
I marvel at their hope. When all is stripped away what ever is left reveals the character of a person. But it isn't a hope based on wishful thinking, but rather a hope grounded in the love of God that redeems men through the death of His son. It is a hope based on the truth spoken through centuries calling each of us to follow Jesus. It is a hope that our sins are forgiven, that the dust of this life isn't all that we are, and that God will welcome us into his presence. It is a hope that stands when man's riches, power, expectations, and dreams melt away in their final moments. That is the truth. That is the good news, that is the gospel.
I want you to meditate on this hope. What motivates you in the morning? Through what lens do you look at the world? When you make a decision, whether political, ethical, or economic what guides you? When the dust settles what are you left with? Is it the word of truth, the gospel?
My elderly friends have difficult decisions in the coming months. Their emotions will be a roller coaster ride of peace and sorrow. But I know that through it all they will cling to the only hope that matters, the Word of Truth, the gospel of Jesus. And my faith is bolstered. I'm just saying.
"because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel." Colossians 1:5