Several years ago, when riots rocked Los Angeles, television stations provided round-the-clock coverage of the devastation. In one scene, a reporter actually was interviewing the looters as they fled with their haul from a department store. The reporter asked the first person what they had gotten, and she denied getting anything. A second person told the reporter that it was none of his “blankety-blank” business. The third person was much friendlier, though. He stopped and said, “Oh, I got some gospel music, ’cause I love Jesus!”
When I was a kid, my maternal grandmother used to come and stay with us for a month or so every summer. I remember one old gospel song she loved to hear was Stuart Hamblin’s “Until Then.”
My heart can sing, when I pause to remember
A heartache here is but a stepping stone
Along the trail that’s always winding upward
This troubled world is not my final home.
But until then my heart will go on singing
Until then with joy I’ll carry on
Until the day my eyes behold the city
Until the day God calls me home.
The last time my grandmother visited us, we all knew her life was nearing its end. She was a wonderful, country woman who lived her entire life in a wooden house that had never been painted, had no indoor plumbing, and was heated by only a fireplace and her stove, which always seemed to be filled with the best biscuits in the world. Like so many saints before her,Granny had a relentless optimism because she had been given an ultimate hope.
You may not feel like a saint right now because of all the troubles in your life. Somehow, our struggles often make us feel abandoned by God, but if you can’t understand anything else about the book of Revelation, remember these two things:
• Saints are not exempt from the suffering and pain of life,
• BUT we can live with relentless optimism if we never let go of God’s promise, which is our ultimate hope.
The question now is how will we live “Until Then”?
President, Hope for Peace & Justice