Romans 15:13: “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.”

Hope is paramount, at least in the eyes of the apostle Paul. As he wrote a letter to his friends in Rome, he introduced God to them as the God of Hope. From Paul’s perspective, hope is one of God’s defining features – and it makes perfect sense because hope is the fuel that runs life’s engine. Giving up hope is similar to suicide. Hope is the underlying reason why we keep trying.

My German grandmother had always kept her dry sense of humor in situations that weren’t funny. She raised three of her five children mostly on her own – initially because her husband was engaged in World War II, later because she divorced him. One of her sayings as her children sat around the dinner table:

“Alles da
Nur kein Papa!”
which translated means:

“Everything there
Just no Dad!”

That was her way of saying: “We’re doing pretty well without him.” My grandmother had guts and spunk. She was one of those people we call in German “Stehaufmännchen” – a tumbler who always gets up. In tough situations she has inspired me to do the same.

However, contrary to my grandmother’s awareness, nobody is fatherless. In the course of my life I have come to know God as the epitome of a parent. God is our Father and He is very protective of us. He cares. We have a place in His heart, and we have a place in this life. To misquote my grandmother:

Everything there
Especially Dad!

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