There are some days when all I see is what autism and cerebral palsy steal. In the meltdown moments, I can't find what they give. I just see loss. I just see two steps forward, one step back, emphasis on the back. I see how hard we work. I see how desperate I am sometimes to stop the disabilities from stealing things from my son. And in the middle of a hard moment today I heard in my head, "The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy..." and my theology-loving hear argues, "I think you are taking that out of context."
But the verse continued to echo but with adding the second half, "But I have come that you may have life and have it to the full." God's kingdom is an already/not yet kingdom. Christ has already defeated death but He has not yet come again and undone every sad thing, every disease and disability, every effect of sin. I constantly find myself aware of the living here in the tension of the already/not yet.
So I can already have life to the full because I belong to Christ, but there is the not yet part, too. Autism cured? Not yet. Cerebral palsy healed? Not yet.
My word of the year is hope, but some days that word feels overshadowed by another word. Weary. For the few people I have been extremely transparent with lately, I have used that word. "How are you feeling?" "Weary." Not everyday. Not every moment. But at times that thief wants to come in and try to steal and kill and destroy my hope and replace it with weariness.
I can't fake hope. I can't manufacture it or conjure it up by saying the right words or singing the right songs. But I can rest in it because for me hope is not just a word or a feeling. I have hope right now, right when hope is hard to have because He has already come. Hope has come. And because He is coming again.