Hope

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up – Then You Cannot Be Disappointed

Ed, my neighbor next door, had to rub it in. “You should never expect much. You get all excited and positive, and then things turn to sawdust on you.” For a week, Ed knew that I was really pleased with four new tires on my red Pontiac, but a problem developed with them. He saw me leave for Yorkton in the morning where one of the new tires went flat, and it could not be fixed. Much later, Ed saw me coming home down our street with my spare tire on my car, the little doughnut type. It was a long drive at less than eighty on the number ten highway from Yorkton to Melville. “Sure, had your hopes up with those tires only to find yourself running on a doughnut,” Ed said with a way too much delight.

I have to admit I’m in one of those stretches where some of us finding ourselves skidding from one minor crisis to another. First, I was preaching in a dignified way for an evening Lenten Service, and tiny microphone on my lapel clip fell off for no reason. Worse yet, the whole group of worshipers perked up like it was a blessing from heaven, when they could no longer hear me. Then I picked up a new plastic jar of Coffee-mate a day or two latter, and I knocked it off the counter. The lid came off dusting half the kitchen with white coffee-mate. My wife was away on a retreat and I had been avoiding any cleaning until nearer her return, but I was busted and forced to clean up the white dust. Then my son phoned from Saskatoon sharing that they were coming to visit in three days. They were moving to Ontario, for his wife’s new job. The crisis is that our granddaughter who spends several weeks a year with us will be far away in Ontario instead of Saskatoon.

Ed says that I should not hope for anything except little and big annoyances. Any day can get worse instead of better. Ed does seem to have a point when it comes to Holy Week. Jesus entered Jerusalem in triumph after his raising of Lazarus from the dead. The people waved palm branches and hailed him king. Within a few days the people were willing to cry loudly, “Crucify Him.” When the people favored Jesus, his enemies waited for an opportunity to kill him. For thirty pieces of silver, Judas Iscariot was willing to betray Jesus. His other disciples ran off when this happened at his arrest. Only, Peter followed Jesus, at a distance, but denied knowing Jesus three times. Jesus was crucified. He suffered on the cross, for the sins of all, although he was sinless. He died and was buried in a tomb. Those closest to Jesus saw no reason to hope at all.

When we try to find hope in the events of our lives it will be temporary or elusive. On the third day, Jesus arose from the dead. He confirmed forever that there is the victory of life over death for all who have faith in him. As he arose from the dead so shall we. It is our permanent hope.

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Raymond Maher
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