Armed with Hope

It’s been nearly a month now since the Sandy Hook tragedy. Like most Americans, I want to forget what happened in that elementary school, to numb myself to the reality of real evil and pain and suffering, to focus on trying to control my own little world. But, thankfully, my God won’t let me completely forget. Although I purposely did not watch any news stories (I only read newspaper reports because I know how sensitive my memory is to images), what I read has been enough to either keep me up or wake me up some nights with imagined images. Images of little ones, even my little ones, looking evil in the eye at point blank range.

When these fears come, my mother’s heart gets frantic, wondering what I can do to prepare them for that situation if it were ever to arise. Don’t worry, this is not going to get political about a stance on guns (if you know me, you know that’s the last place I want to go). After thinking about karate lessons and never leaving our house again, then Lord was gracious to remind me that the best way to arm my sweet children for the evil in and all around them is with a biblical hope.

Lying in bed with tears in my eyes, the Lord brought to mind a few of my heroes and how they stared down evil. Corrie ten Boom, a Christian survivor of the atrocities of the Holocaust, has long been a hero of mine, so I read everything about her life I can get my hands on. In that semi-obsessive process, I realized that while she remains a hero of mine, the real hero in my eyes is her father, Casper ten Boom. Casper raised his family in such a godward, Christ-and word-centered way that his family was able to act like Christ in the face of evil all around them. In her book, In My Father’s House, Corrie talks about how a theme Casper passed on to his family was “the best is yet to come,” a longing and expectancy for the new heavens and the new earth, for the time when Christ would come and put right all the brokenness and pain in the world. What most struck me was that as Corrie and her sister Betsy watched their father walk through the gates of a concentration camp, marching to his sure death in the gas chambers, he looked at them with a peaceful smile and said, “Remember, the best is yet to come.”

I long to arm my children with the weapon of biblical hope, a hope robust enough to pierce even evil embodied, if God would have them face it. I long to equip them with such a confident assurance of the goodness of their God and the truths of His precious Word that, no matter what circumstance they find themselves in, they can smile at what is to come. That kind of weapon can never be taken from them.

Lord, let us live such lives that our children would be armed with a Biblical hope. Let me learn to live in light of the reality that, in Christ, because of Him, the best is yet to come.

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