Thursday, May 26, 2016

Because He Lives, I Can Face Today

I took this photo of a bald
eagle a few hundred yards
from our house.
If you lived on earth for just one day you would encounter tragedy, either immediately or mediately. When tragedy strikes it is not good to suppress or deny it. It's not good to put a happy face on it. When something is bad it's not good to say "It's not so bad." Putting a happy face over tragedy breeds hopelessness. 

"Hope" only kicks in as one goes through the dark valley. Hope is only possible where there is some level of darkness. Don't say, "This valley is not really so dark." It is. To say otherwise adds insult to injury. Instead, grieve and weep with those who grieve and weep. In addition, offer real hope. How?

Thomas Merton wrote: "We must not strive to maintain a clime of optimism by the mere suppression of tragic realities. Christian optimism lies in a hope of victory in which we pass beyond tragedy to glory with Christ crucified and risen." (Merton, Seasons of Celebration)

The source of our hope lies in looking at things unseen, not things that are seen. Confidence in the unseen future with Christ is rooted in the historical reality of Christ's cross and resurrection.  This is Paul's point to the Corinthians, expressed in his second letter to them.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Because He lives, I can face whatever today brings.