I originally posted about this phrase and these bumper stickers on February 17, 2009, the week my sweet mother was diagnosed with metastatic gallbladder cancer. And since that day—when the bumper sticker "just happened to" fall out of my Bible—this little acronym has come to mean a great deal to me.
Our church distributed the bumper stickers to everyone one Sunday morning nearly three years ago. And on occasion, when I see another igbok car around town, I feel a sense of kinship with the person or people inside. A sense of family. And a renewed sense of hope.
In case you can't read the card in the background of the picture that explains the eternal truth behind igbok, here it is:
it's gonna be o.k.
We believe igbok is the universal language of hope.
When a child skins a knee or gets their feelings hurt; when the medical tests aren’t good; when fear rolls in like a storm and anxiety hovers like a fog; when dreams die and hope seems to evaporate; when life isn’t going the way we hoped it would — aren’t these the words we long to hear — and believe?
What if God — the creator, sustainer and redeemer of creation — made this promise? What if He shouted and whispered “igbok” from Genesis to Revelation? He’s the only one who could make this promise — and keep it. If He did, then we have reason to hope.
We think He did.
God’s “o.k.” doesn’t mean that the cancer will be healed, the relationship fully restored, the physical pain or emotional ache will go away in this life. It means that because He has entered and overcome our brokenness…we can live this life with real hope — a hope that knows one day everything will be set right forever in the life to come.
Now that's something to be hopeful about, isn't it? And it's a hope that won't disappoint. Because it's been guaranteed with the blood of Christ.
Sometimes this life can feel so long. When loved ones are suffering, or when we must whisper the dreaded "Goodbye, for now." Or when sickness or illness plague these earthly bodies of ours. Then at other times, I turn around and wonder where the first fifty years went. Poof! Gone in a flash. And it makes me wonder how quickly the years facing me will fly.
My prayer, first of all, is that we'll live in the moment, something I'm really working on. And secondly, that we'll savor every blessing––and trial––the Lord gives or allows, knowing… igbok.
I've got 8 igbok bumper stickers and I'd love to share them! If you'd like one, just leave a comment on this blog over the next week telling me what the hope behind igbok means to you. Then next Monday night at 8PM Central time, I'll draw eight names and will announce the winners here next Tuesday, January 21.
So glad we're in this together!
Find out how igbok came to be