Everyday in ministry I meet people who are beaten down by this life. And I refuse to believe in a God who punishes them for succumbing to the pressures and troubles of this world. Amidst the despair, the disappointments, the crushing defeat life sometimes doles out, God’s love and providential care reigns supreme.
Today’s reading in Hebrews touches on this element of faith. We hear about those who have died in the faith without hearing the promises of God. It is a day when God’s grace explodes into the afterlife. We are told that while they are strangers and foreigners that “God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.”
It is a city where desolation and despair disappear. It is a city of wonder, amazement, and hope, where the abundant love of God overflows.
I believe this image of the city is a metaphor of God’s gracious welcome, that extends well beyond those who had Abraham’s faith, but for all those who are lost in the sea of God’s love.
All of us have experienced sadness and despair. The world is full of it. The question is always what are we going to do with that disappointment, difficulty, and sometimes desolation. Is God in there somewhere? At rock bottom, do we find a savior, or an empty pit?
We believe in a God that has prepared a place for us – even those who have never heard the mention of Christ. This is a God of abundant love – a God who never leaves us. So rest in that, and trust that God will find you, even if you can’t seem to find him.