Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Faithfulness and Hope

Had a chat yesterday with a lifelong friend.  Our mothers are now residents of the same nursing care facility and we met in the hallway.

After a few words of commiseration
about the awfulness of the old age senility and dementia that now grips our mothers, the conversation turned to our fathers.  They are both deceased.  Both served this country honorably during WWII.  My father packed parachutes in Texas.

His father... now that's another story.  His father served in Europe and over a period of three and a half years walked the length of Italy.  Some of that time, he burned with fever from malaria. 

"So many times," said my friend, "I tried and tried to get Dad to tell me about the things he experienced in the war.  He never would."

I've heard the same thing from so many others who have been to war.  And not just war, but those who have experienced some great horrific event.  There are things in life that are just too horrible to talk about.  Only by the grace of God can they be dealt with mentally to enable those who were there to go on.  God has given us a great gift called Hope.  My friend's father returned from the horrors of Italy at the end of the war.  He married and fathered five children and lived a good long life.  He had suffered the miseries of war so that the atrocities perpetrated by evil men would not reach our shores and would cease. 

Still, he carried the memories all his life and he also carried the gift of Hope.  Lamentations 3:19-23 gives us this promise:

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Faithfulness and Hope - they go hand in hand.  Where is your Hope today?