Have you ever put it all in for something, believing the Lord?  Your heart, your hope…all of it.  You even let others in on your hope.  And then it didn’t come to pass?  Ugh.

Talk about disappointment.  Heartache.  And even bitterness of soul.

Hope is powerful and when it doesn’t come to pass, it’s awful.  And it’s worse when you felt like your hope was in the Lord coming through.

Today is that day.

Today is the Middle.  Except that they thought it was The End.

I can’t imagine the sorrow of the soul that was felt today by the disciples.  Their beloved leader was supposed to deliver them from Rome and launch a Jewish revival that would draw people back to righteousness.

Instead their leader was dead.  Not just dead accidentally but dead in the most shameful way that a man can die–on a cross.  Where was the new kingdom he promised?  And not only that but where was the revival?  Instead the Jews had celebrated and called for his death.

It was not just the loss of their friend.  It was the loss of hope and its bitter disappointment.  It was the shame they would have to face when they went back to their friends and family.  It was the dreaded, “I told you so” from their father whom they had left while fishing.  It was everything.  It was the feeling as if God himself had let them down.

And just when we think the book reads The End, we discover after a season of sorrow that it was actually the Middle.

You know the story.  The resurrection happened and it was the most glorious thing the world has ever and will ever witness.  Except for his return.

We never know how God is going to finish the story.  Disappointment is so bitter.  And yet until this life is over we don’t know the full story.  Even then we might go to our grave not seeing the things we hoped for.  This was the way for the heroes of faith (Heb 11).

So we figure out a way to keep nurturing hope.  We direct that hope not in circumstances but in the Lord.  When it doesn’t come to pass we grieve it out.  Then we hope again.  Because who knows?  We might just be near the Middle.