ODJ: Hope Just Yet

July 14, 2018 

READ: Genesis 12:1-9 

All the families on earth will be blessed through you (v.3).

I’m crazy about em-dashes,” says the author of my favourite editorial newsletter. (It’s Stephanie Smith’s Slant//Letter, in case you’re wondering.) Also in case you’re wondering, this is an em-dash: —.

Smith advocates writing your “six-word memoir”, in which you describe your life in just six words. She employs the em-dash to great effect in her own memoir, which ends—naturally—with an em-dash. Says Smith, “It’s a signal that the story is always unfolding, we are endlessly becoming, and there’s hope just yet.”

Hope just yet. That provides great comfort—especially for parents of grown children. We observe others who seem to enjoy ‘perfect’ children who attend perfectly prestigious universities and launch perfectly ambitious careers. Our kids, meanwhile, may wander into life adrift from their spiritual moorings. We feel like parental failures.

In the beginning, the perfect Parent launched two perfect children into a perfect world. This Parent gave His children everything they needed. He spent quality time with them. It was paradise (Genesis 2:4-25).

How did Adam and Eve turn out? Genesis 3 reveals their epic failure. So . . . did God fail as a parent?

Long after that disaster in Eden, but still recorded in the book of Genesis, our heavenly Father came to a desert tent-dweller with hope for the ages. “All the families on earth will be blessed through you,” God said to the childless man (12:3). Abram would become the father of the miracle child, Isaac. From their line would come Jesus—the Hope of all the world.

Your child’s story—or that of someone else you know (including you!)—may not be going the way you planned. Take hope. Keep praying. We’re all in God’s story—and His story is still unfolding.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day plan: Mark 6:1-13

God’s children make all kinds of mistakes, yet His story unfolds according to plan. See Genesis 50:14-21 for an example. 
How often do you pray for the spiritual wellbeing of others? How does Scripture give you hope and encouragement even for those who are far from God?