I am tired. Two nights in a row of interrupted sleep combined with a return today to our normal schedule–whatever that is, I can’t even remember, the Christmas break stretched so long–not to mention the general January bleakness, well, I’m tired. Besides, today is one of those ordinary, boring days full of ordinary, boring tasks: laundry. Grocery shopping. Dishwashing. More laundry.
Psalm 118:24 reminds me that this is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. This day? This day of irksome and exhausting work? This day of unglamorous and dull and frankly demeaning tasks? This day marked by obscurity and all things mundane and ordinary?
We certainly think of rejoicing in the good days, the days of great joy and happy boasting, the days where all seems right and good. Even in the dark days we attempt to summon the faith to trust, to accept, to submit, and thus to rejoice.
It’s the boring days that can be hard to rejoice in.
Last night at prayer meeting we discussed question 1 from the New City Catechism: What is our only hope in life and death? The answer: That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ.
This answer seems rather obvious when I think in terms of death. I know that when I die my only hope is in the grace of the Lord to save me. I know I deserve hell and I know that my only hope for heaven is that I belong to the Lord.
But my only hope in life? Truth be told, I place my hopes in lots of things. Today I am hoping my son’s bout with the stomach virus is short lived. Of course I hope in his recovery because I love him and I hate to see him sick and suffering, but, just keepin’ it real, part of that hope is a selfish one. I am tired, did I mention that? Tired of the laundry and the Lysol and the power of suggestion that keeps me suspect that maybe I too am getting sick.
And, hello, I also hope that lots of people read this post and like it and tell me so.
Like I said, just keepin’ it real.
My hopes in this life are many and, like these, most are good things, hope-full and hope-worthy things. However, the catechism answer tells me that my only hope in life is that I belong to the Lord. I may hope in various outcomes and circumstances and I might hope in your good opinion and for relief from the boring days. But these hopes are not only short lived, they are also unsatisfactory, insufficient for the dark days, the boring days, and, yes, even the happy days.
What sustains? My hope, my sure expectation, my eager confidence, that I am the Lord’s. Because of His Son Jesus, I belong to Him body and soul. As His child, His treasured possession, I can rest. I can rejoice. He has made this day, with its trials and its triumphs, and He grants me grace and joy and mercy in it.
My hope is built on nothing less.