I really need a haircut. Typically, when I feel the thick grey mane behind my head, I know it’s way past due. A mullet began forming; it is so pronounced, that I could tie a ponytail. The covid-19 restrictions closed all the barbershops, and getting a haircut is going to be harder than finding an ice cube in the Sahara. All I could do was just “hope.” But I don’t like that word because it suggests a passive posture. I prefer to be the kind of a person who makes things happen, not “hopes” that they will happen. I prefer to initiate the conversation rather than wait for someone else to.
The problem with this is that there are some things I can’t make happen. There are a lot of things I don’t have control over. This is what most of us began to feel during this Covid-19 pandemic. We experienced this feeling over and over again. We encountered the most difficult part of the pandemic and then we are exposed to the fear that we fear the most: We do not have control over what happens to us or to our loved ones. No matter what I do, I cannot protect them from the pandemic. The stark truth is that I cannot protect them from anything, and I have never been able to. Those times that I told myself otherwise were false illusions of control.
Recently, my daughter and my son were driving home from school. My wife and I were ecstatic because we have not seen them in six months. As they left Michigan, my daughter called and said her friend’s dad just tested positive for Covid-19. My daughter spent the entire day with that friend the day before to help her pack. Mask? Yes. Social distancing? No. I was nervous. I was scared. I was suffering, and prayed. I was getting more grey hair. I was forced to “hope,” and encountered the loss of control. Paul illustrates in Romans 4:18, “When it was beyond hope, he had faith in the hope that he would become the father of many nations, in keeping with the promise God spoke to him: That’s how many descendants you will have.” Remember that Abraham was 75 years old when God promised him that he would be the father of many nations. How would I fair if I were in Abraham’s shoes? “Many nations? I would like to start with one child please!”
Paul exalts the faith of Abraham (unlike mine), and acknowledges that waiting for God is hard. We learn that even though Abraham’s faith was not perfect, he relied on hope – expect, pray, and trust that God will come through. So, my daughter’s friend who got tested early that morning got the results back in a few hours – negative! I guess I don’t mind the grey hair anymore since the Bible says, “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life” (Prov. 16:31). Don’t know when I will get the haircut, but I prefer the grey hair of a righteous life any day.
Friends, may you continue your hope in Jesus Christ, and receive His righteousness. May everything in life be the hope builder that leads to the crown of glory and everlasting life beyond this world!