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Friday, February 12

God’s gifts of faith, hope and love 

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. 

1 Corinthians 13:13 

When I was 10, the abbreviation “ALS” and the name “Lou Gehrig” were popular topics of conversation in my home. I didn’t know exactly what these terms meant, but I knew that they were making my Dad sick, and that stunk. I also knew that while Dad once spent his evenings playing outside and going on walks with my siblings and me, he didn’t really do that anymore.

On one particular walk without my Dad, I remember asking my Mom when Dad would be better so that he could rejoin us on these walks, and her response left me speechless. She said “I don’t know, Jules. I don’t know if he’s gonna get better.” I remember crying myself to sleep that night and wrestling with my feelings of anger toward God, simultane-ously coupled with hope for what seemed to be impossible.

I also remember a weekend that my grandparents spent with me while my mom took my dad to visit an ALS special-ist. When they returned home from their visit, I expected them to tell me how much longer my Dad had on this earth, but instead, they let us know that Dad had been falsely diag-nosed. He had a milder muscular syndrome that was not accompanied by the word “terminal.”

Now, some 13 years later, this time in my family’s life still has a huge impact on what I know to be true about God and about the world. At 23, I certainly don’t have all the answers about how the world works, but I am confident that God used this experience to help me understand faith, hope, and love. I now know that God doesn’t “do” terrible things to people; rather, God walks with us and gives us the faith we need to get through these challenging times. I know that God has given us hope for tomorrow through the promise of Christ’s death and resurrection. Finally, I know that God’s gift of love for one another is the closest thing we have here on earth to really understanding God’s greatness. I am eter-nally thankful for God’s greatest gifts of faith, hope, and love.

Gracious God, thank you for your gifts of faith, hope, and love. Help us to live each day with confidence in our faith, hope for a better tomorrow, and love for one another. AMEN! 

Julie Tonnesen 

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