A Part, Not a Pinnacle

Lee Morgan, Associate Campus Pastor, Huntley | December 7, 2023

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10 

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. 
Jeremiah 29:11 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 
Romans 8:28 

But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,  the purposes of his heart through all generations. 
Psalm 33:11 

As I write this, I’m sitting across from my husband while he receives his third infusion of chemotherapy. If you’ve ever spent time in an infusion area at a hospital, you know how hard the staff works to make the space cheerful—there are encouraging pieces of art, personal sentiments on cards and ribbons, windows to let light in, or shades to shield from the sun—and compassion is being delivered with every progress update. But the truth underneath it all is that the person I love most in this world has cancer, and the infusion that is going to save his life, makes him sicker than he’s ever been.

Seasons like this can sometimes define us, derail us from our life’s purposes, and even steal one of the best  gifts we have as followers of Jesus: hope. As I read scriptures like Jeremiah 29:11, which promises prosperity and hope, or the declaration of God’s goodness for us in Romans 8:28, it’s hard to believe that infusion rooms are what He intended. But then I read this verse, Psalm 33:11: “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.” And in those words, I am able to see that this life is but a moment and the hardships nor successes define who we are—we won’t have a pinnacle here on this earth. As children of the living God, our pinnacle is forever with Him. God made these promises to those who came thousands of years before us and to those who will come after us—His promises and His goodness aren’t defined just in moments, they span generations. This season is just a part, not a pinnacle.

That doesn’t just give me hope for Heaven but hope for here and now. There is hope that the next season will look different, maybe even better. Whatever we’re all facing this Christmas, when hard can feel harder, lonely can feel lonelier, and busy can feel busier, my prayer is that we invite God’s presence into it  and put our hope in what He’s working out– not just this moment, but beyond,  and for generations to come.

Next Steps

  • As I reflect on how I want to live, even when things feel hard, the worship songs Back to Life and Same God are on repeat—I hope they encourage you too.
  • As you visit the Christmas story this year in Luke 2:1-20 which rings with hope, take a moment to visit Psalm 23 again too. As Dallas Willard wrote about Psalm 23 in his book LIfe Without Lack: Living in the Fullness of Psalm 23, he reminds us, “The best-known definition of faith in the Bible is this: ‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’ – Hebrews 11:1.’”