I write this as I am flying to Nashville to join my parents and siblings to be there for my sister’s brain surgery. Even as I type this, it still is pretty surreal. As I was preparing for service two weeks ago, I received a call from my sister explaining that they found a tumor the size of a racquetball in the meningeal area between her brain and skull. There were tears, a promise to talk more the next day and the statement, “I’ll send you a picture.” It was the one above…and when I saw it for the first time, I gasped.
Fast forward to the present. As I walked to the plane, I got word that she was out of surgery and that it went well. Good news! The whole journey has caused me to contemplate a lot about pain and tough situations my life. I know my sister is a fighter and whatever it takes to move forward in this, she will do it. She ran for her college, has given birth to nine kids and just sold her house to live on a boat with her family – she knows how to get things done. So many others demonstrate that same sense of resilience that is needed to make it through life’s toughest moments. I fly home to celebrate a life that isn’t with us anymore. Next week, there is a fundraiser for Ezra – the little guy who lost to cancer but kicked a lot of butt along the way. I don’t have enough room in this post to explain God, pain and all the “why’s.”
After all the pondering, I came up with one word… Hope. I Corinthians 13 talks about the big three – Faith, hope and love. I always thought hope was the odd one out. Faith and love seem to be concepts that point to God. But hope, it points to the unknown. It points to a pregnant expectation for something to happen. It reminds you that it is out of your control. It is Christ…wait, where did that come from? Colossians 1:27 (NIV) says, “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
That is what gives me peace in the toughest situations. In a relationship with Christ, we have access to something that can only come from that relationship with Christ. A supernatural, eternal hope that comes because everything that seems “insurmountable,” will bow it’s knee to the one who created it.
I know there are countless questions about pain, situations, love, fairness and why. I can’t imagine going through those situations without hope. Hope that says, “I am with you, you can do this, keep going…you are not alone. I’m in this with you.”
(I wrote this on the afternoon of 9/3/14. Got to spend 30 wonderful minutes with my sister when I arrived. Today was a special day.)