What I wish I heard in Church. What I wish the Church heard.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Hope that Lies Within

The folks at Ransomed Heart have a daily reading from a John Eldredge book. This was today's, from the book The Ransomed Heart. It affected me a lot. It's a question worthy of contemplation.

A curious warning is given to us in Peter’s first epistle. There he tells us to be ready to give the reason for the hope that lies within us to everyone who asks (3:15). Now, what’s strange about that passage is this: no one ever asks. When was the last time someone stopped you to inquire about the reason for the hope that lies within you? You’re at the market, say, in the frozen food section. A friend you haven’t seen for some time comes up to you, grasps you by both shoulders and pleads, “Please, you’ve got to tell me. Be honest now. How can you live with such hope? Where does it come from? I must know the reason.” In talking with hundreds of Christians, I’ve met only one or two who have experienced something like this.

Yet God tells us to be ready, so what’s wrong? To be blunt, nothing about our lives is worth asking about. There’s nothing intriguing about our hopes, nothing to make anyone curious. Not that we don’t have hopes; we do. We hope we’ll have enough after taxes this year to take a summer vacation. We hope our kids don’t wreck the car. We hope our favorite team goes to the World Series. We hope our health doesn’t give out, and so on. Nothing wrong with any of those hopes; nothing unusual, either. Everyone has hopes like that, so why bother asking us? It’s life as usual. Sanctified resignation has become the new abiding place of contemporary Christians. No wonder nobody asks. Do you want the life of any Christian you know?



Anonymous Vicki Small said...

The closest I've ever come to being asked, I wasn't exactly asked to give a reason for my hope. A middle-aged former student e-mailed me shortly after 9-11 to ask me how I was handling the terror, the drastic shift in our lives. That gave me an opportunity to tell him that, while I was terribly sad and grieving heavily, I know that the ultimate victory has already been decided, in Jesus Christ. My faith was in Him to manage the chaos of all that had occurred, as well as whatever would come after.

He didn't say, "Wow! How can I get in on this?" and, in fact, was defensive about his relationship with God that didn't have to conform to anyone's religion. I assured him I wasn't trying to drag him into any religion, but only telling him about the relationship that was carrying me through those dark days. He was, at least, mollified.

I still think of David, now and then, and pray for him.

10:17 PM


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