Yesterday I had almost become consumed with grief. I have been praying for several friends and it felt like sadness and gloom was abounding. I went to Chapel and I talked with God begging for mercy. We sang songs of rejoicing and Immanuel, but the sadness still filled in the air.
The meditation was about a phrase we have come to use often, even without fully understanding the implications of saying “It is what it is.” I had viewed that statement as facing the truth, or accepting reality. Sometimes it is necessary to face the issue for what it IS. The problem is that what it is does not mean the end. It is not final. Even death. IT does not have the last word.
Yesterday in my heart I was preparing for more news that the cancer had spread for a dear, sweet child who just wants to live and be happy. Why, Lord? It’s too much. It’s not fair. Also, a spiritual mentor friend announced a sudden move that surely means an unplanned job change, and stress and strain for him and his young adult children as they continue to adjust to life after the death of their wife/mother from cancer. Where is the mercy?
Yes, you are here with us Lord, but we are sad and troubled. But that is only part of the story. There is more to the story, thanks be to God.
This is the season of tidings of comfort and joy because our HOPE comes from a baby, our King and Savior who came to earth to show us everlasting love and forgiveness. And He will come again.
This scripture keeps coming before me again and again. I guess because I seem to forget it and need to be reminded. This morning I discovered Romans 5:3 is the Verse of the Day in my Bible App.
Romans 5:3-5 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Hope does not disappoint. It is NOT what it is. Or even if it is, it is not the end of the story.
There is good news. The cancer has NOT spread right now, and there are great plans underway for more living and more happy times. There are days to look forward to. For my mentor friend, there are opportunities for new ministry and reaching people who are eager to hear God’s Word and witness a life of humor, passion and faith lived out by one who continues to persevere despite facing dark times. His ministry continues to reach people and make an impact, and the legacy of Heather Hagler is that God IS glorified and her joy as a follower of Christ continues to spread and grow.
There is a woman hoping for her body to be healed, accepting that drastic surgery may indeed be required. She is tired of pain and discomfort. She is weary in the waiting, so ready for life to be restored. Hope does not disappoint. God WILL heal. Today is a day for living in that hopefulness as best we can. Today is a day to testify. Hope does NOT disappoint.