God … according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope.
1 Peter 1:3.
Every spring we rejoice anew at the sight of the fruit trees in magnificent blossom. The branches are full of petals that promise a harvest. When the wind blows them away, a tiny bud is visible here and there. A few months later, however, it becomes evident that all our expectations will not be fulfilled. The fruit growing there is not so abundant as the blossom and definitely not of the best quality. It is small, spotted and even maggoty.
Children, too, generally give their parents much joy in their early years. So long as they are still small, they can easily be guided and smile so innocently. But when self-will develops, we notice that that “blossom”, too, fades. The children grow older and the naughtiness that was present in them from the start increases more and more. The verdict in the Bible proves to be well-founded: “How can a man be righteous before God?” (Job 9:2).
There are differences, of course. Some ambitious young people have a sensible aim for their life and apparently achieve it. Others try their hand at many occupations, but things constantly go downhill. For the former group heaven is by no means assured, however much they have striven in their life. For the latter heaven is by no means inaccessible, even if things seem hopeless. Both groups need God’s mercy for a reliable hope that goes beyond the grave and the new life that He grants to all who entrust themselves to Christ.