A Single Beam of Hope

Sometimes it’s all just too much. One thing stacks on another. You feel like you can’t take one more thing. But here it comes anyway.

All of a sudden, your senses seem to halt. You can’t hear. And you can’t speak either.

The stress has gotten to the point where you’re just completely overwhelmed. Even if it’s just momentary, it feels like the whole world is arrayed against you.

And in your heart? Perhaps it’s anger. Maybe it’s grief. Or worry. And it could just be a deep, deep hurt. Whatever it is, it feels crushing.

And yet, somewhere deep down inside, underneath layers and layers of all that dark, heavy emotion, there still lies just a tiny glimmer. A single itsy, bitsy beam of light — for your soul.

That little beam? It’s hope. The world may be caving in on top of you, but somehow all is not yet lost.

Because God is real. He does know you. And you matter to him.

After all, he gave you his one and only Son’s life to rescue you from sin and eternal death — from darkness that lasts forever.

King David knew that darkness. He also knew that beam of hope… and he knew that God hears and answers prayer.

“I am like the deaf, who cannot hear, like the mute, who cannot speak; I have become like one who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply. Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God” (Psalm 38:13-15, NIV).

Lord, you are real. You know me, and I matter to you because in Christ, I’m your child. I am burdened and weighed down. Please hear my prayers and answer them.

Our Bible reading for Monday, March 30, is Numbers 27:12 – 29:11, Luke 8:1-18 and Psalm 38:13-22.

Header image based on "hope" by Forest Wander, CC By-SA 2.0

The Hug that Follows the Discipline

I’ve actually seen it occur on multiple continents. I’ve witnessed it here in the U.S. I’ve also watched it occur in Africa and in Europe.

The scene always plays out the same. A parent, slightly distracted, or perhaps simply trusting for a moment that her two-year-old knows how to behave, allows the child to pull free of her hand.

And suddenly the child runs out into the street, a street in which a car is approaching rapidly. The parent reacts. Grabbing the child by an arm, she pulls the child back swiftly, almost violently. And then she bends down and gives the little one a stern talking to. Anger flashes.

Or is it love? Because the next thing is that the child is in tears, and the mother is reaching around to give the child an embrace. Tender words flow from her mouth.

“Mommy just does not want to see you get hurt!”

God is like that. He does not want to see us get hurt. So he pulls us back from sin. The way he does this might appear violent at times. But what God truly loves is to give us the hug that follows the discipline.

Because of Jesus Christ, we are dearly loved children of God. Therefore we can rest assured that God loves nothing more than to protect us when we are in danger; when we are injured, to heal us; when we are lost, to rescue us.

“Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal. From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will touch you” (Job 5:17-19, NIV).

Lord, thank you that you assure me again and again in the Bible that through faith in Jesus, I am your dearly loved child. I know your deepest desire is to heal me, to help me and to hold me in your embrace. And for that I thank and praise you!

Our Bible reading for Tuesday, January 27, is Job 4:1 – 7:21, Matthew 19:1-15 and Psalm 17:1-5.

Header image based on "I can walk on my own" by Seika, CC by 2.0