As we hit the end of last week, my seminary education and experience was failing me, and I could not think of or find a good Bible verse or passage the hold on to or sink my teeth into. I don’t mean this in the ‘final solution’ sort of way, because people will wonder that, but more in an “everything is turning to crud” sort of way. I just could not manage to find a lot of hope here, there, or anywhere. Oddly, it wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great.
Out of nowhere, a good friend of mine from factory work and seminary suddenly reminded me of 1 Peter 5:10–“10 But may[d] the God of all grace, who called us[e] to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” It’s a cool reminder of God and His grace, and how suffering does actually happen in life, but has a good destination. I don’t want to say ‘ending,’ because that doesn’t happen, but a good destination. If nothing else, being settled is a lot better than the panic that comes so easily.
I’d been really struggling trying to figure out where to go in my own personal devotions. They weren’t going well. That made me think, “You know, in tough times, 1 Peter has always been good,” so I went back there this morning. Since the beginning is such a good place to start, I went there.Verses 3-4 in chapter 1 were huge today. Peter wrote to Christians struggling through persecution and all the myriad struggles of life, and he reminded them that God has “begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
There’s a whole lot of cool stuff there. It’s a hope that’s alive, and can’t be destroyed. Stuff still hurts, but the reality of hope doesn’t get erased, at least to God, and He’s the one keeping it alive. It’s His power, not mine. That’s a short version of what reassured me today.
It was handy. Things didn’t go quite as planned this weekend. Our cemetery visit failed due to excessive snow in that section. Doria was covered by more snow than we could walk through. Our basketball guys forgot there was a game, so we watched a pretty dispiriting effort. I have a paper to put together that my major professor wants to see as that first publication (and so do I). That thing wouldn’t come together for anything. I spent a dozen or so hours trying to figure out what my notes meant, flailing about hopelessly and kind of pathetically.
Topping all of these was our visit to the doctor on Friday. It was time for the Doppler thing to join the party and let us her #2s heartbeat. Now, I know that #2 is only about the size of a jumbo shrimp right now, so I get that #2 is small and it’s hard to find the heartbeat right away. Still, even though our doctor is amazing, it took a couple seconds to find the heartbeat. Those are the seconds of the week that I disliked the most. I was pretty sure everything was OK, but I just did not want to hear that silence again. No way.
But all is good. #2 has a good and strong heartbeat. That’s a whole lot better than another death story. The paper came together into a nice outline, and I think I’ve really put something together that no historian has done before. I’m carving out a career niche with this study. That’s better than the edge of failure by a long shot.
It wasn’t a week for the faint of heart, but a week where the heart had plenty of chances to faint. Through it all, as one of students said about something else in an e-mail, the sun came up, and God is still good. Things are still hard, but hope is alive.