I was recently invited to reflect on the question how God wants me to experience hope and how that leads back to God’s fidelity.
Walter Burghardt’s reflection for today in Give Us This Day, addressed that question so beautifully it almost brought tears to my eyes. He write:
[Y]ou have a gift we call hope. Not a wimpy “Maybe things will turn out o.k.’ Rather, a confident expectation that wherever you turn, whatever your problem, God will be there. Not always with an answer, but always with a presence, a strength, a courage out of this world. A confident expectation that your life will not end in six feet of dirt, will in fact never end, that you will always be alive in God, that the spiritual part of you will survive the corroding of your flesh, that one day the whole person that is “you” will come together again, but without the pain, without the tears. Unless such is your hope, there is no point in your presence here. And if I may quote one of my few deathless sentences, “If heaven is not for real, I shall be madder than hell.”
A confident expectation that whatever I face, I do not face it without God, a presence that gives me all the strength and courage I need to face anything.
A confident expectation that that presence of God transcends physical death, that I will be with God always.
And Burghardt is spot on in his suggestion in the penultimate sentence that it is that hope that gives meaning to our lives.