Dreams, great ideas, and even fantastic visions are imaginations until tested with and through the reality of life. When one puts these things in a mix with wicked problems, unsolvable conundrums, and unresolved doubts the reality of the truth within begins to emerge. It is difficult. It is challenging. In can and often is extremely distressing. Yet with the passage of time a sense of true Hope can be seen, realized and in faith. It is this tested Hope which changes the world, allows people to walk through the impossible, and create incredible works of beauty.
I didn’t have to face too many major disasters in my early childhood. I didn’t know any close relatives or friends dying or fighting major illnesses. My dad and mom always seem to be able to put food on the table, though in hindsight I think it was a lot closer than I ever imagined.
Everything changed with the death of a classmate in high school. For the first time my true beliefs, dreams, and ideas were put to the test. Did I believe what I thought I believed? Could I proceed with the dreams I had held close to my heart and high above my head? Was there any truth to the visions I had for my life and the community in which I lived?
I thought I answered the question. In the decades since I discovered variations of these questions hitting my soul far more times than I ever thought possible. Over the same period I have come to realize how God has given me a priceless treasure; tested Hope.
The reality is this. With Hope I can tell others with confidence that “friends, your dead will live, your corpses will get to their feet. All you dead and buried, wake up! Sing! Your dew is morning dew catching the first rays of sun, the earth bursting with life, giving birth to the dead.” (Isaiah 26.19) I cannot fully explain. I don’t have all the answers. Conundrums still haunt my soul. Yet I know. You can too.
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