Hope in the Lord
by Nikki Horne
Growing up as a kid, it was a huge bonus that both sets of grandparents lived within a few minutes of our house! We got to visit on a weekly basis and had the best relationship. I was especially close with my Nano. She was a woman of deep faith, and as a child I witnessed her kindness and generosity to so many we would encounter together. I can remember when Nano would take me and my brother to the park; she would make friends with any person she would meet. She had that type of personality that was so welcoming and kind. It was such an attractive quality! She was a witness to strong faith and unconditional love. In the fall of 1995, Nano passed away suddenly. This was a shock to our family. It was the first time in my life when I personally dealt with death and the loss of a loved one. As our family grieved together, something inside my heart had peace. I knew then that I would be reunited with my Nano again. I had hope knowing that I would see her again in heaven. As a community of believers, we have our hope not on things of this earth but in the power of the cross of Christ and the resurrection.
When thinking of the story of Lazarus, the word “hope” comes to mind. In John 11:24-26, Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” The Good Shepherd lays down His life to take it up again. The resurrection of Lazarus prefigures that of Jesus. The tomb will not be able to hold Jesus any more than it could hold Lazarus once Jesus showed up. In Jesus, who is the resurrection and the life, death has met its match.
Unfortunately, a lot of the time it doesn’t feel like death has been defeated. In verse 32, like Mary and Martha, we cry out in pain and ask questions about job loss, children going astray, financial troubles, illness, loss of loved ones, global pandemic—whatever casts death’s shadow across our lives.
Even as we pray and cry out for help, we live and wait in hope. Like Mary and Martha we learn that God does not act exactly when or how we think God should act. God will act in God’s perfect time and death will not have the final word. The day of resurrection will come! Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait patiently for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait patiently for the Lord.”
Lord, thank you for giving us life! As Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, renew and restore us to new life, leaving in the grave all that prevents us from loving You more fully. Amen.