We had an early morning conversation, me and my dear friend so many states away. I was struggling after having been up all night. My little man limp after dry heaving over a trash can and the nasty stomach bug jumping over to me. This, the latest in a string of plagues on our house. She asked me this question:
How do you live, how do you move forward when it’s just one hard thing after another, but also do the things that God is calling you to do?
Then she shared this beautiful nugget from a song called Rule by Hillsong United, encouraging me to still hope in His calling:
Hope came dancing on an empty grave.
Where did hope show up?
On a mountaintop with a beautiful sunrise?
A sailboat gliding through the calm island waters?
On quiet beach or in a cozy forest cabin?
Hope came dancing in a graveyard. Surrounded by the musty darkness of death.
Hope came on a tomb: The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay… So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. (Matthew 28)
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone… Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.” (John 11)
Hope came in the storm: As they sailed, he [Jesus] fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. (Luke 8)
Hope came in the illness: A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”…
“Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly… Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith... Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment. (Matthew 8)
Hope comes in the drought (Genesis 41, I Kings 17-18), in the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37), in the wilderness (Joshua 5-6), and in prison (Acts 16).
I wrote last week we have been through a string of challenges this month. They don’t seem to be letting up.
My friend reminded me this morning that’s where hope comes dancing. Where everything was dead. To your natural self, that’s not where the dancing would be.
That’s where she found the answer to living in this tension. The things we’re asked to deal with, living in these hard times, it’s where we find our most authentic faith. It’s where the dancing is the most real. Where the hope is the most real.
Let it bring you peace. Hope can come dancing where you are. He is asking you to dance in those places. He is there.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 1:18-20)
You were called to one hope when you were called. (Ephesians 4:4)