by Julie Zine Coleman
When I was a little girl, our family of four bravely ventured out from Connecticut to visit relatives in Florida. We Zines weren’t big travelers, so this trip was a very big deal. It was July. We would drive for three days, stopping at hotels each night. Exciting times.
The first day didn’t go too badly. We drove as far as Washington, D.C., and took a quick tour of the sights. The second day: not so pleasant. Margie and I had already blown through the new toys our mom bought for the trip. We were tired of being in the car. My poor little sister got carsick—necessitating several emergency stops. And it was HOT. We were driving through a record heat wave with no air conditioning. By the time we hit South Carolina, every one of us was wilted and desperate to get out of that car.
Dad pulled into the first decent motel. No vacancy. That began a nightmarish hour of driving from hotel after hotel, to no avail. Finally, a kind hotel clerk called around and found us a place to stay. When we wearily pulled up to our lodging, we just about kissed the ground of its parking lot.
The next morning, Dad took a new tactic. Before we left he called ahead to the next stop and made a reservation. We traveled that day knowing that no matter what happened on the road, a cool swim in a hotel pool and a soft bed awaited us. It made all the difference in how we faced another day’s journey.
As believers, we know how the road we travel will end. One day we will stand before God’s throne, face to face with our precious Savior. It will be the day when our faith will become sight. There will be no more crying, no more sorrow. We will finally begin to grasp how perfectly we have been loved. Our struggle with our sin nature will be behind us, as we will finally be like Jesus, totally transformed and complete. What a fabulous day that will be.
Knowing all that should impact how we conduct ourselves in the journey.
I wonder if that is why Peter called it a living hope (1 Peter 1:3). For it is not only a hope for our eternal future; this hope has tremendous implications for our lives in the here and now.
Knowing what ultimately lies ahead makes the trip through this life bearable. It supplies the light at the end of the tunnel which beckons us on to our glorious and final destination. Our name is written in the book of life (Rev 20:12), an eternal reservation, with all of the benefits an eternity with God will entail. And we can be sure that the God who planned and orchestrated it all is at present faithfully by our side as we run toward that finish line.
Author Frederick Buechner wrote that Christ’s “resurrection means the worst thing is never the last thing.” No matter what tragedy or failures befall us, no matter how difficult our life on earth is right now, we already how it ends. We can trust in our faithful God to move us toward a glorious future, even when things are looking grim.
Hope makes all the difference.
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10: 23 NASB
About the author: Julie Coleman helps others to understand and know an unexpected God. A popular conference and retreat speaker, she holds an M.A. in biblical studies. Her award-winning book, Unexpected Love: God’s Heart Revealed through Jesus’ Conversations with Women, was published in 2013 by Thomas Nelson. Julie is the managing editor for Arise Daily. When she is not glaring at her computer, she spends time with her grandchildren, gardening, or walking her neurotic dog. More on Julie can be found at unexpectedgod.com and Facebook.
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Join the conversation: How has your hope impacted your life in the here and now?