Lord, not again. COVID-19. Uvalde. Inflation. Threats of global economy collapse. Haven't we been here before? Lord, not again. Even as we try to address the horror of our collective past with the January 6th hearings, the thin skin over our old wounds becomes susceptible to injury once again. We may never know the "why's", but I do know this. Today, you and I need to renew our hope and anchor our place in forever.
Hope Springs Eternal
Only a man in need of perpetual peace could write the words, "hope springs eternal", and mean it. Alexander Pope was a devout Catholic who used poetry to navigate his suffering through the turmoil of his personal pain and religious persecution. Tuberculosis of the spine at the age of 12. Growth stunted to only 4 feet, 6 inches. Crippling headaches. Ostracized and limited in his education because of his faith. And yet he writes, Hope springs eternal in the human breast... In his acclaimed work, An Essay on Man, Pope engages the court of public opinion in defense of the Almighty. In human works, though laboured on with pain, A thousand movements scarce one purpose gain; In God's one single can its end produce; Yet serves to second too some other use. So man, who here seems principal alone, Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown, Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal; 'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.
Our Hope is Our Help
Wherever beauty flows, burdens grow. If our assignment is to bring the beauty of God's love to a dying world, we must accept that burdens come with it because (guess what?) the world is dying. The more beauty, the more burden. And as followers of Christ, we must also reconcile that when a pain won't go away, it has God's permission not to taunt us but to teach us how to use our hope as an anchor. My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand. "My Hope is Built on Nothing Less" by Pastor Edward Mote, 1834
Lean on Jesus' Name
Only God's continual presence in your life can love all the hurt away. Lord, What is our pain in your presence? A delay, a distraction, a dream deferred? Let it become a fly on the wall. In your Holy of Holies, struggle becomes a spectator. Worry becomes a witness. Your joy becomes our strength. Hope springs eternal. I know you are ready for the chaos in your life to be over. Me, too. But in some cases, it doesn't appear to be going anywhere. And because it is here, it must be a part of God's magnificent plan. 'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole. But your pain has no power in HIS presence, so keep God close. Live in a state of prayer and prayerful expectation that He's got the whole world in His hands. That includes you. Lean on Jesus' name. He is the Good Shepherd. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ~John 10:9-10, New International Version If your burdens are growing, know that Christ's love is flowing. Let Him love all the hurt away.
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