Friday, December 21, 2012

in the middle of hope


"When Darkness seems to hide His face 
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil"

Edward Mote, "The Solid Rock"

Thinking back to my last post here, published pre-dawn last Friday morning, I couldn't have fathomed the unspeakable that would unfold just a few hours later.  

I've said often that, "tragedy tears the veil of our perspectives and perceptions". The fragility and brevity of our lives were revealed and we were broken.  Bare. Helpless.  The events of last Friday remind us all that we are not guaranteed another breath on this earth.   


But we are guaranteed hope - the hope of eternity.  


In the days that have followed, my heart has been reminded of that hope.  It is hope that rose from another Friday in history that was filled with darkness and a different veil that was torn...  

 
"And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.  
Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom." 
Mark 15:37-38  
 
According to the account of Mark, Jesus endured six hours of torment on the cross.  Although it was midday, darkness completely enveloped the sky during the final three hours.  As Jesus' took His last breath, the veil to the Holy of Holies was literally ripped apart.  The presence of God was no longer veiled.
 
In an instant, tragedy had become triumph.  
 
Therefore, we can boldly stand before His throne of grace, yes - even in the midst of our deepest suffering, we can enter into His presence.  In the midst of the deepest suffering, we can cling to the deepest of hope:  "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, the inner sanctuary behind the veil, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf" (Hebrews 6:19-20).  

That Sunday following that dark Friday, the three made their way towards the tomb.  I imagine their journey as they traveled in the pre-dawn hours.  Grieving.  Silence.  Darkness.  In the midst of their suffering, they probably couldn't have fathomed the hope that would be revealed with the rising of the sun: a stone removed.  An empty tomb.

And in an instant, death had become a lie.  


Just as we make our way to Him in the middle of our darkest days - and our hopelessness - we, too, can find hope unimaginable in Him.

This season, may we celebrate all the more the hope He came to bring.  
 
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23

originally posted at: http://middleplaces.com/2012/12/21/in-the-middle-of-hope/

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