I served in the Armed Forces many years ago and have always been thankful that I was able to give those years to my country. I must say, however, that my most memorable time in the service was the brief interval when I was a “short-timer.”

Short-timers are soldiers who have but a few weeks before discharge. They spend their last days “mustering out”—visiting the commissary and the quartermaster’s office to clear accounts and return equipment. What I remember most about that period was my jaunty pace and the happy, carefree spirit with which I carried out my tasks. I had duties but few worries, for I knew I was going home.

Now that I’m an “old-timer,” once again I’m a short-timer. It won’t be long before I’m discharged from my duty here. Again, my pace is jaunty and my spirit is light for I know that very soon I’ll be going home. That’s the outlook that Jesus and His apostles called “hope” (Acts 24:15; Rom. 5:2,5).

Hope, in the biblical sense, means certainty and assurance. It is the firm, unshakable, indomitable belief that we will be raised from the dead (as Jesus was) and will be welcomed into our eternal home. That’s enough to put joy in our heart and a spring in our step this day!