In the midst of the darkness, in the middle of the pain, in the intensity of the heartache it is hard to imagine that anything good can come out of the situation. Everyone falls into the immediacy of the depression of being overwhelmed, consumed, and even stunned by the harsh reality of what is going on. Far too often the pain consumes everything that is alive. Hope doesn’t seem to be present, nothing that would give one the slightest pause to reconsider the current position.
For many, me included, the reality of my weaknesses, failures, and gaps as a person, father, husband, son, and friend combine with life itself to eliminate whatever hope might exists that is worth trying hold onto with my feeble grasp. The pain can be a dull ache that never seems to leave. Usually it is the small things that trigger something bigger, but one shouldn’t underestimate the impact and degeneration over time. If one adds to this mix the toll of disease and broken relationships beyond one’s immediate control then the overwhelming bleakness is total and complete.
John the Revelator faced this type of pain. Clearly from his writing it was overwhelming.
“I wept and wept and wept that no one was found able to open the scroll, able to read it. One of the Elders said, “Don’t weep. Look—the Lion from Tribe Judah, the Root of David’s Tree, has conquered. He can open the scroll, can rip through the seven seals.” (Revelation 5.3)
John was snatched from absolute and total despair! In his words are found the witness and words that should give us hope beyond our imaginations. God has won the battle. God can open up everything that binds us to this world. God is more than interested in us. God created us in love and will restore us to our created potentials and life with a love that is beyond anything that we can imagine! We have a future, no matter how dark it seems. We stand bathed in hope, dressed in mercy, and living in love.