Just a few short years ago, I was empty, scared, and uncertain all the time. I felt detached from reality and panicked.
This was largely unprompted, as my life was wonderful. I had obtained everything I’d ever hoped for — a loving husband, beautiful children, great friends, a good situation. I was very happy, but I began to live with the fear that my perfect life could unravel at any moment. Every story of tragedy shook me deeply, and I found myself “undistracted” by exciting future hopes and ambitions. I had experienced everything I had once anticipated, which was all wonderful, but there was no unknown left in my mind.
As strange as it was to begin losing hope at a time when everything was good, I did. I entered into a difficult, dark season of grappling with life, death, reality, and eternity to a dizzying degree. As I tried to wrap my mind around forever, I experienced the mental collapse caused by the impossibility of that endeavor. The icy fingers of doubt wound their way around my heart, and I felt unsure and alone.
My irreconcilable fears were a symptom of a deeper problem: I was still struggling to fully lay down my life to follow Jesus. God opened my eyes to see the countless idols I held onto and how the world and most of what I had devoted my life to was fragile and fleeting. I began to see things for what they were, and out of the struggle with doubt and fear, His wonderful light shone and filled me with faith, certainty, and hope unlike anything I could have ever dreamed.
Our hope isn’t based on our anxious wishes for nothing bad to happen. Our broken world guarantees that bad things will happen, but we are not slaves to fear. We can trust that whatever hardships or sorrows we face in this life will be brief in comparison to eternity. We can trust that all our sufferings will achieve for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
In Jesus, we have hope that allows us to embrace life regardless of its uncertainty. We have the power of the empty tomb within us, and we hold onto the promise of heaven to come. With our hearts set firmly on things above, we can lay down our lives to follow Christ and live with an unshakable hope.