April 10, 2024

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” (Hebrews 6:19, NIV).


We reviewed his CT in our multidisciplinary conference after treating his cancer with radioembolization.


I brought him good news: “Right now, I’m optimistic. There’s no evidence of cancer on your scan.”


He replied, “Optimist nothing, Doc. God said, ‘It is finished,’ and that’s all I need. That’s where my hope lies.”


There are so many places our hopes can lie. And if we reach them, there is always another to achieve.


Patients often hope their cancer will be cured, or that they will live until their children are married, or just that the pain will go away. All of these are legitimate hopes. They are deep and concrete and important to seek. My job in healthcare is to help them achieve these hopes. Everyone has islands of hope they wish to reach, whether it be jobs, or relationships, or finances, or children, or relief of distress for those we love. All of us as followers of Christ should be vessels on the dangerous sea of life to carry our patients, friends and loved ones to the islands where their hopes can be realized.

But these hopes, vital as they are, are but islands in a sea where people are destined to drown unless they reach the Solid Ground that extends forever.


Omar Khayyam put it this way: “The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon Turns Ashes–or it prospers; and anon, Like Snow upon the Desert’s dusty Face, Lighting a little Hour or two–is gone.”

C.S. Lewis knew the difference of hope-hopping for brief fulfillment and landing where we belong: “We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world…Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.”


We have only one home. It’s wherever the Father is, both this side and the other side of glory. We know this truth for ourselves, but do we live it for those who depend on us to help them reach their earthly hopes? Can we work with God to move them from hope-hopping to placing their feet on solid ground?


I wish that everyone I care for could say, “It is finished” (John 19:30), as did my patient, and walk with the One who completed it all. What will I let God do through me this week to get them there?


Dear Father,

Let me land with you. Let those for who I care land with you.


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