first day of school – hope and promise

And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. – Romans 5:5

21271201_10101100243300902_6688116144921557513_n-002It’s Tuesday morning, the day after Labor Day. Today, all over the these United States, millions of children, aged five through eighteen, are heading in for their first day of school.

For five-year-old children entering kindergarten, this is the very beginning of their long journey. Some have brothers and sisters who have paved the way. Others represent the start of something brand new for their families.

For my grandson, David – and my daughter Naomi’s family – this day is all about breaking new ground. We Facetimed at the bus stop (in good electronic era fashion) and we told David we were so proud of him, and so happy about how he’s growing up. We told him we’d be praying for him, his teacher, and all his new friends.

Then, when the bus came, ready to drive him into the future, this is how our daughter described it:

“I love you, Mommy!”
And just like that, a piece of my heart got on the bus, looked back, blew me a kiss, smiled and was gone…

I’ve got to tell you, looking at photographs like this one gives me pause. But it also gives me such great hope for the future. And you know what hope means, don’t you? Hope is a quality that is rooted in some truth that we already know, and that we can be confident about.  “Hope does not disappoint,” Paul writes in Romans 5, “because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Our confidence is not pie in the sky, but fastened securely in Jesus. The love of God is our experience, it is our foundation, and it is our sure hope.

I’m not saying I believe the future is necessarily going to be any kind of easy. But I do believe in the one who holds the future, and I believe that my grandson David’s generation have so much enthusiasm, and brilliance, and love to give.

And today, David is already sharing his ebullient, tender, kindhearted, life-charged spirit with his new friends in school.

The love of God has been – is being, and will be – poured out within our hearts

– Love, hope, blessings, and promise – DEREK



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