the possible dream
"It is I Who say to you, 'Fear not, I will help you.' " —Isaiah 41:13
Everyone loves a Cinderella story. The lowly servant girl becomes the princess. The teenage nerd becomes the handsome, rugged man. The team that loses for years becomes the champions. We take heart in victory after years of suffering. How sweet it is!
This is the essence of hope and of our life in Christ. With the cross comes certain resurrection. We may be downtrodden worms now (Is 41:14), but Jesus will change us into sharp, new instruments of His kingdom (Is 41:15). We may be in a desert now, but the Lord will sovereignly transform that desert into paradise in due time (Is 41:18). The relationship that is an absolute shambles can be gloriously transformed into a shining new creation (2 Cor 5:17).
God does this kind of thing all the time. He makes a way where there was no possible way. "For God all things are possible" (Mt 19:26). The only way for us to miss out on this glorious deliverance is to quit in despair and abandon our position. We can freely decide that the current sufferings are too much for us. Cinderella skips the ball to avoid humiliation. The nerd gives in to despair and commits suicide. The losing team disbands in frustration.
Never forget the power of the Lord. "Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. Although they go forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown, they shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves" (Ps 126:5-6). The Lord changes mourning into dancing (Ps 30:12), gives freedom to those in bondage (Is 61:1), and redeems our lives from destruction (Ps 103:4). How sweet it is!
Prayer: Father, "I consider the sufferings of the present to be as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed in us" (Rm 8:18).
Promise: "The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all His works." —Ps 145:9
Praise: Jesus delivered Carl from addictions to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Now Carl devours the Scriptures instead (Jer 15:16).
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998