The Cincinnati Reds will open their 2014 season on Monday, March 31, against the St. Louis Cardinals. Coming into the season the Reds are struggling with some key injuries and will need to make adjustments in order to see their World Series dreams come true. Opening day marks the spring in Cincinnati and paves the way for summer nights at Great American Ball Park. For the next few days the Reds’ season is full of hope for fans and players, hope for a World Series. On Monday, however, that hope begins to become reality.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when longing is fulfilled, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12). Delayed dreams and hopes for Cincinnati Christians squash spiritual expressions and stress believers’ relationship with God and others. Hope for the future is characteristically full of good things. People hope for something better than what they are currently experiencing. Hope stirs people to dream of what could be, it drives humanity forward to see untapped possibilities, and it reminds people of a purpose to pursue. Reality can be harsh on hopes.
However, reality can be everything hoped for and more. Christians in Cincinnati know that God can and does surpass expectations. Dreams become reality every day. Those moments in life where someone’s hope is realized should be celebrated for the life-giving event it is. While reality sometimes squashes hope, God promises to be faithful and fulfill the desires of his people. “Also delight yourself in Yahweh, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). In those moments Christians in Cincinnati need to recognize the moment of joy and life and praise God for the gift he has given them. When God grants hopes as reality, he instills a life-giving spring into the heart. The memory of God’s faithfulness is reason to be joyful and praise him for his goodness.