My son drives a 1988 Cadillac Deville. It is actually one year older than he is. It used to belong to his grandfather. The car has now reached the age that it no longer has to pass state emission tests because it is so old. But it still runs - most of the time.
Recently, its battery has not been able to hold a charge, so we took it into the shop where they said that the alternator had gone bad. To replace it and fix it would be about $300. So, my son and I go through our routine every time something goes wrong with a car this age. We ask things like this: Is this worth it? How much more money do we want to invest in this car, or is it time simply to let it go and sell it? On the other hand, what can we get for $300? If it still runs (and it does have the most comfortable ride of any car we own) should we hold on to it for a little longer?
I wonder what NPR's "Car Talk" experts would say. They almost always tell folks to fix the old car - unless it is hopeless. And when it comes to it, our 1988 Cadillac Deville is not hopeless - at least not yet. I know "hope" is a theological term, but here I guess we mean something practical - there is a reasonable hope that we will get some more use out of this car.
But maybe that is what hope is always about - the idea that there is still the possibility something good might come out of a situation where that seems less than likely. In our lives, we all face times where it looks like we have reached the end. Sometimes that end is real, but other times something (or Someone) nudges us to "hang in there." Maybe God is at work in a way we can't yet see, but give it one more chance to see what God can do. The Bible puts it this way:
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
-Romans 12:12, NIV
Prayer for Today
From Romans 15:13, NIV
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.