Hope in Brokenness

Current Brokenness

Every year since my sister was diagnosed with ALS, I have participated in the Walk to Defeat ALS. This year was my fourth Walk. Even though the event is always well-organized and encouraging, and even though friends always show up to support my family and me, it is also a reminder of the terrible disease my sister had and the fact that she is no longer with us. It is a reminder of the brokenness of this world.

In my post Death Loses, I talked about how the resurrection of Jesus means that death is not the end for us. That truth is so comforting. The resurrection gives us hope for the life that is to come, the life that my sister Jean Ann is already getting to experience. 

But we are not fully living in that reality yet. That’s why I still miss my sister. That’s why I feel sadness and anger over her suffering from a disease as terrible as ALS. That’s why death feels so unnatural to us.

Not Yet

It’s another case of the “already, but not yet.” Jesus has already defeated death; there is no question who wins in this contest. But we have not yet fully seen His victory over death. We still taste it. 

The Resurrection confirms that this world is broken. Yes, Jesus died and rose again to restore this world. But if it needs restoring, then that means that something is wrong. Everything is not as it should be. 

Is everything sad going to come untrue?
— J. R. R. Tolkien, Return of the King

So the resurrection gives us the ability to both grieve and hope at the same time (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14). It allows us to feel real pain, anger, and sadness on this side of eternity because we know things are broken.

The resurrection does not promise that we will be free from heartbreak here and now. In fact, we know we will suffer in this world (John 16:33). But it does point to one day when everything will be made right. We will no longer suffer. We will not get sick. We will no longer be angry about injustice or grieve a loss because those things will be gone. Death will be no more.

Everything indeed is not as it should be, but it will not always be this way because Jesus didn’t stay dead. 

Present Hope

The resurrection does give us hope for right here and now, too. Because of the resurrection, we know for certain that Jesus wins. His victory – and therefore ours - is guaranteed. Since we have a sure outcome, we do not have to let despair or apathy overtake us.

We can see the brokenness of the world and ask, “God, how can we be a part of restoring it?” We can pray for things to change. We can take action to make “Your kingdom come” now. We can fight against injustice knowing we will overcome. We can look for cures to diseases knowing that someday all sickness will be eradicated. We can fight sin with confidence that we will be freed from it.

We may not see it all on this side of Heaven, but we get to be a part of demonstrating what the world should and will be like someday.

Galatians 6 : 9
And let us not grow weary of doing good,
for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

What good news the Resurrection truly is. It comforts us and gives us hope. It shows us that God sees and cares that things are not as they should be. And it gives us great joy and anticipation as we get to join with Him as He makes all things new (Rev. 21:5).

Joy