BIBLICAL POINT OF REFERENCE:
"So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love."
~1 Corinthians 13:13
I had a nice chat with my dad yesterday morning at breakfast, and he told me about a presentation that he and my mom are going to give to some eighth grade parents at his parish. He told me that the topic of the presentation was faith, hope, and love, and how to discover which one each of us (particularly speaking and pertaining to the eighth grade parents) are lacking. So this got me thinking: Which one am I lacking in? Faith, hope, or love?
My first thought was hope; I have found that I often do not have hope for things to get better, either because I have been let down one too many times or because I lack faith in God that He will make things better. But that means then that the underlying problem really isn't hope, is it? It means that I am lacking in faith. I lack the faith in God that His love and my love for Him is enough to get me through whatever I am facing on any given day. However, this really means that I am lacking mostly in love. After all, God is Love. So I guess I'm lacking in all three virtues then? I've gone in a complete circle, and what I have drawn into the middle is that you cannot have one of these virtues without the others. You cannot have hope if you do not have faith, you cannot have faith if you do not love, and you cannot love if you do not have hope. They are all dependent and interchangeable with each other. The significance of this is astounding. We may all be sinners, but God has called us to unite these three virtues and come to Him. He does emphasize love, however. Why is love the most important? Because as John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son; that whoever believes in Him shall never die, but have eternal life." Our Lord sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for all of our sins because He loved us so much, and so we must love Him in return, and have faith and hope that things will turn out the way they are supposed to. If I could go back and change my response during my dad and my conversation yesterday, I would tell him this: I may struggle with hope, but if I struggle with hope, than I also struggle with faith and love, because they all rely on each other and they all lead us to God. I don't think you can only lack in one of those virtues - we all struggle constantly to balance and even to find all three. So my challenge for you ladies this week is to unite all three virtues: faith, hope, and love. Where you lack in hope, remember to have faith in our Lord's promises and love His unknown plans. Where you lack in faith, remember to love the life He gave you and have hope in the marvelous future He has in store for you. And where you lack in love, remember that when you have faith and hope in God, you will find it easier to accept and love His intentions and actions. Go now, and walk in the faith of our Lord! Your Laughing Sister, Callahan