SSD Painting Series #2: A Hope and a Future
Updated: May 28
Now it's time for a deeper look at the second painting in the series: "A Hope and a Future."
This phrase comes from the title of one of the episodes back when the series ran as 45-minute installments. It alludes to Jeremiah 29:11, more specifically with the NIV translation of the verse, which reads, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Back in college, I use to have this written on my dry erase calendar. The sentiment of this verse, and thereby the painting, echoes that of the previous "Trust the Timing" piece. I don't want to over iterate what I said in my last post, but this verse reminds us again that God's plan is ever present and working in our lives and we can trust Him. Of course, this doesn't mean that we still won't experience pain and suffering. Instead, we are reminded that DESPITE that pain and in the midst of our suffering, we still have "a future full of hope" [note: this is the wording used in the translation that I use]. And why is it that we have a future full of hope? That answer, my friends, lies in the cross, when God incarnate, Jesus, took all of our sin upon Himself so that we might have a hope for our future with Him in Heaven. If that's not a reason for hope, I don't know what is! Jesus showed us in this sacrificial act, that suffering and pain are not pointless. We can use these horrible effects of sin to draw closer to Him, to grow in faith. Our society looks at suffering with a lens void of hope, but it doesn't have to be that way.
This phrase and painting have special meaning for me, in particular with my battle with mental illness. Some of you may have heard me talk about it to some regard already. It took a while for me to have the courage to be vocal about it. There is a stigma and nobody wants to walk around with a label. I won't sit here and act like it's easy. Some days are tolerable, some are manageable, and some are downright awful. This is my cross that I have been given. My burden is heavy. But I have a Savior that I can lean on for strength, who promises that I have a future full of hope. And I do have hope. I know that even in my darkest moments, when it feels like light itself will never shine again, that such a feeling is temporary. I know that the good days WILL come again. And I know that no matter how hard my journey is in this life, I still have hope for my future in Heaven. Because, my dear friends, isn't that what this is all about?