In my darkest moments of grief, I am bombarded by doubts. I find myself wondering whether it's all a sham ... this whole God thing. I miss my dad terribly and I want more than anything to see him again. I start to wonder if I want this so badly that I am willing to believe anything that tells me I will? Am I clinging to a false hope?
According to Miriam-Webster the definition of the word hope is "to expect with confidence." It is closely related to the words "trust" and "faith." Those three things ... hope, trust and faith are my lifelines. They are what keep me afloat in the rolling waves of grief.
I'm expecting with confidence that I will be with my dad again. I'm trusting that what God promised in His word will happen. I'm clinging to my faith that it's all real - that He's real.
And then a couple days ago Peter smacked some sense into me.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.So I suppose missing my dad is today's trial. I am surely suffering grief, but at least I know it's not meaningless. As awful as it is, if it ultimately results in praise, glory and honor for Jesus Christ, then I'll gladly accept it.