15 but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.
1 Peter 3:15
They say hope is fickle, but I find that mine is growing stronger every day. How? Because, I’m looking at my dad. He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) in January of this year. And when our family heard the news, fear and grief settled in. We knew this terminal illness would slowly take over, and we wondered how much time we’d have left together.
My sister and I were determined to travel with him while he still had enough strength. So, we drove him to his favorite place—the beach. Praise the Lord for overcast skies! The weather was perfect, and my dad thoroughly enjoyed the trip. We even helped him walk into the water and held him upright in the waves. What happened in that moment will forever change the way I look at him.
He struck up a gospel conversation with the gentleman swimming next to us. With slurred speech, my dad shared that Jesus Christ was his Lord and that the suffering he was enduring from this disease meant nothing compared to an eternity with God. He talked about the grace that was extended to us at the cross, and even now, hope can be found in the chaos. In that conversation, my dad stared down death and spoke life. He professed faith and shared the good news that Jesus saves and knowing Him is worth it all.
Now I look at my own life and wonder—can I make it through this suffering? These trials I’m enduring, these hardships I’m facing, is it worth it? The accusations that are hitting and this pain I’m feeling, is it worth it? Then I look at my dad, and I see this 50-year-old man putting his hope in the person of Jesus. He is defending his faith, despite the suffering. Even though his muscles are deteriorating and his body is aching, his heart is the strongest it has ever been. That’s all because he knows where he is going. Therefore I can proudly—and with every ounce of confidence—say, “Yes. It’s worth it.”
I have hope today because this girl is still looking up to her daddy as he is looking up to his.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Who are you looking up to?
- Do you have the hope of Christ within you?
- Pray right now for a greater awareness of God’s presence as the Holy Spirit fills you with all hope and peace.
Pray for the Disaster Relief ministry of Brentwood Baptist Church. This team mobilizes for relief and recovery in the immediate wake of damaging storms. It has served multiple places in Nashville, across Tennessee, and in hurricane recovery in Houston and Dominica. Pray for readiness and for the people our teams will serve.