photo credit: flickr/Annemieke Cloosterman

Hope in the Shadows

“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.”

– Hebrews 13:14

There are so many uncontrollable tragedies and chaos around us.  It’s unavoidable.  Cancer and disease, violence, and crime permeate our lives. It is easy to look into the world and feel hopeless.  There is so much evil and pain in our world from terror attacks to children going hungry.

This world can’t promise us anything.  It can’t give us peace.  This world and everything in it is temporary.  There is so much in life that we can’t control, like sickness and death.  We don’t know how many days we will have in our lives or when we will die.

Over the last few months several people in my life have passed away. My Great-Grandpa was a wonderful man and I miss him so much.  He was older and sick and there was comfort in knowing that he would be with the Lord.  Next was a man I knew who was in the prime of his life when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  My friend who was 19 years old was killed in a car accident.  We would talk about working in Africa in missions together someday.  Then my Great-Great Uncle died after a difficult battle with a cancer related to his service in Vietnam.  It was a hard reminder that this life on earth is temporary and we are not guaranteed a long or pain free life without difficult times or control of our time here .  They were all servant hearted people who left strong legacies demonstrating God’s love for others.

I have recently been to many doctors because the left side of my face has gone numb and they aren’t sure why.  I consulted with several specialists and there were many tests and possible causes, it’s still a mystery.  I have been having migraines and it could be a side effect from them. The doctors said that with treatment for the migraines my numbness could heal, or it may not.

Losing so many loved ones and walking through all of the possible diagnoses for myself made me come face to face with how quickly my own life could change and I thought about how I want to live my life here and now.  I’ve felt so vulnerable, like I could lose everything in a moment.



“LORD, what are human beings that you should care for them, mere mortals that you should think of them? They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.”

Psalm 144:3-4



Through all this I was reminded of Hebrews 13:14, this is not our permanent home.  Our lives are like a passing shadow, here one day and gone the next.  We are not promised a set amount of time, but our lives here on earth are nothing compared to eternity.

We are not able to look into the future and know everything that is going to happen to us and change the outcome.  When we look at ourselves and our own ability in this world it looks hopeless, we are so small and weak.

The need is so great and we are so small.

Yet, in all this we have a hope, a hope that won’t let go of us and gives us comfort in the night, this hope is Jesus Christ.  Jesus loves us and He will never leave us.

We have assurance of a day to come when there will be no more evil, pain, heartache, sickness or death.  A day when we will see our Savior face to face and spend Eternity in his presence.  Until then we have the promise that he will never leave us or forsake us and of peace, a peace that the world can never give us because it passes all understanding.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” – John 14:27

God knows everything about us, He is all knowing.  The one who created us knows us more than we know ourselves.

   Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
    How vast is the sum of them! 
Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

How wonderful it is to know that God, who sees everything we do the good and the bad, and who knows our thoughts before we think them, cares for us.  Our lives are spread before him and nothing can come as a surprise to Him, He is never caught off guard by anything, He cannot be shaken.

He loves us!  God loves us so much that he became a man, Jesus, and took our sins upon Him as His own and died our death, He took our punishment.  Now, because of His sacrifice and Resurrection we have the hope of a world to come and life after death.  As followers of Jesus we will never experience true death, it will never touch us.  As the Scriptures say, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” – 1 Corinthians 15:55  

God loves you.  He loves you so much that he became man and took your sins.  He died your death and bore your shame.  When you surrender all to Jesus he forgives all your past sins, all your present sins and all your future sins.  It’s immediate and you can do nothing to earn it you can’t work yourself clean.  All you can do is confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord, then you shall be saved.  He will make you white as snow and will pull you out of the pit and set you on firm ground.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

– John 14: 1-4

God Bless You,

Shae

 

 

photo credit: flickr/Annemieke Cloosterman

 

 

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