Romans 12:12 - Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (NIV)
A couple of years ago, I was having a "down day". As I walked to my dad's house in the rain that Monday, I felt forlorn. Life, of late, had not been particularly kind. My mom had passed away several months earlier, and I was struggling to make sense of it all. At only 53 years of age, I was suddenly and irrevocably plunged into the world of bereavement. I hadn't had much experience with death, and now, here it was. It had moved into my heart with a vengeance, bringing along with it the thousands of niggling questions that I'd never had to think of before. Even though mom and I were both Christians, and I believed I'd see mom again, questions still arose. What was heaven like? What do people do there? Could my mother see me? Could Jesus give mom a message? Life would never be the same.
And that day, I had missed the bus, and the rain was drenching my sweater. As I passed the church, something caught my eye on the sidewalk: rain-soaked confetti -- coloured little dots catching the light on a gray, pebbled walkway. Clearly, someone had something to celebrate. There must have been a wedding that weekend, and in disregard for all requests from the pulpit, the confetti had flown at bride and groom. I could imagine their smiles -- a day of hope, a day of joy for two families coming together. A faint grin crossed my face as I thought of my own wedding day -- and more importantly, a wedding to come: the marriage feast of Jesus and His bride, the Church. It will be a time of rejoicing, unity, intimacy, and putting away of all tears. My heart was suddenly filled with hope. This grief would not last forever.
Life is sometimes heavy, but hope in Christ and intimacy with Him lightens the load. Today, let's decide to put our hope in the only One worthy of it: beautiful Jesus!
Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us Your Son. Thank You that death is not the end for Your children, but the beginning. We look forward to that day when we can see You face to face, with no more tears. Renew our hope today and give us the joy that only You can bring. We love You! In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
This devotional was published today, with minor variations on the PCCWeb Daily webpage: http://daily.presbycan.ca/ .