Just three days

One of several remarkable sand sculptures adorning the beaches of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in March 2004

One of several remarkable sand sculptures adorning the beaches of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, March 2004

“Earth’s saddest day and gladdest day were just three days apart!“– Susan Coolidge

The gospel story of Jesus and his victory over death was foreshadowed centuries earlier, and not only in the writing of the Old Testament prophets.  In the book of Psalms we find this hopeful verse: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5 NKJV) What Christians think of as the Easter story is actually a promise worth celebrating every day: even the longest night will not last forever, and death does not have the final word.

An oft-quoted saying declares that the darkest hour is right before dawn, but I confess there have been times when I’ve reassured myself with that thought, only to find that I had not yet seen the darkest hour.  Yet sometimes, just when we are ready to give up, we discover unspeakable joys in our future, much closer to us than we would have dared to dream.  May the coming of spring awaken in your soul the courage to hope!

This post was originally published on Good Friday, 2013. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Good Good Friday morning, Julia!
    I’ve seen a very similar sand work at Hampton Beach. I’m sure this day is remembered in many far parts of the world.
    Your phrase, “courage to hope” compelled me. Is it courage that I’m lacking, if I am not hoping? It seems it could be true. I tried to think of examples wherein a person could lose hope. So far, all I’ve come up with is that the ability to hope (or find courage to hope) probably depends on what one is hoping in, or hoping for.
    May the Peace of the Holy Spirit comfort and strengthen you today, as we summon up our hope that in life and in death, God conquers all, heals and completes us.

    • Susan, I think that hope often takes courage, or at least tenacity, especially when the outcome hoped for is invisible to us and denied by many. For example, people of faith are routinely criticized or pitied (outwardly or privately) for their hope in what some see as delusional or wishful thinking. At such times I try to remember Kipling’s words (“if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you– but make allowance for their doubting too”) and also the words of Paul in Romans 5:3-5: “…we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame…” Also I love this passage in Hebrews 6:18-19: “…we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Not much in my life has been firm and secure lately, but hope is a rock and a mighty fortress.

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