Hello Difference Makers!
Long time no blog. I know, I know…it has been a long time. But here I am. So without further a do…Let me talk to you about the reason I have Hope.
I’m honest on this blog. More so than I can be in person, even with the people who I should be able to be most honest with. And I don’t really understand why that is. Maybe it has something to do with the little response I receive from those who read this blog. Maybe its just that I’m prone to lying and tend to pretend that everything is ok even if it isn’t. I can happily say that all is ok. But lately I have been challenged to, not just say I’m fine but it proclaim that – even if it isn’t ok now – all will be well.
I have said it many times before and will say it again, I believe that you should share if you think that sharing will help someone. But it was always just an inspiration figure of speech to me, a principle I did practiced but didn’t completely understand. Until recently.
In one of my college core subject classes we are studying the art of spontaneous communication; a matter easy to grasp for an actor like myself but none the less an enjoyable exercise. One exercise we do in this class is to deliver a message and share a story to illustrate it from a scripture we have not prepared. There is no time to pick a scripture, no time to think of a title or points and you have hardly any chance of finding a good story which would illustrate and explain while connecting on a personal level with your audience. You simply flip to a page of the Bible or are given one single word and off you go, giving an opener, reading the scripture, proclaiming a statement, telling a story, concluding by linking your story back to your statement which you got from the passage of scripture and closing it nicely. Sounds difficult, sounds complicated and indeed it can be, especially when you are only given three minutes to do the whole shebang. But if I have learned anything about the movements of God it is that He moves in your life when you give Him room to. The other week I was given this task of Bible flipping and I luckily, conveniently landed on 1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (NIV)
In another of my core subject classes I need to write and present a message on a passage 4-10 verses long found in one of the New Testament books the class has studied this term. I say that it is luckily, convenient to have landed in 1 Peter while Bible flicking for the spontaneous communication exercise because 1 Peter is one of the books I can speak about for the oral presentation. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! I had amazingly found the most perfect scripture for the presentation assessment while also finding a perfect scripture for the purpose of the exercise. I may have only read it once before while reading 1 Peter and I certainly had to take a purposeful pause to collect my thoughts and then do the exercise but when I was weak, God was strong and He guided me in the right direction. I say that – guided in the right direction – because after studying the scripture and writing my Oral presentation assessment I have found that 1 Peter 3:15 was just what I was looking for. You see, at bottom level it talks about having hope; inspiration and motivation. More over it talks about sharing the reason why you have that hope; what it is that motivates, uplifts, inspires and encourages you. It talks of not fearing your past or the mistakes you may have made, it talks of not begrudging where you have come from or what you have faced and instead, standing strong in the hope you have and telling others of who it is that supplies you with that hope.
A friend of mine worded it as one of the most powerful evangelistic methods; to admit that you may be weak but your God is strong and that you are standing because with Him you are made strong. And that’s when He moves; when you admit that you can’t do it alone. And can’t help but feel like that is the story of my life; I can’t do it. Not to say that I can’t but rather, that without Him, I wouldn’t be able to do anything. It is only with the knowledge that I am loved – unconditionally – that I have hope; Hope which drives me, motivates me, inspires me and gives my life purpose.
Let me tell you what Hope means to me. It is more than just faith; the conviction of things not seen. It is a substance, is tangible and whole. It’s what motivates me; to get up, get going and keep moving. It’s the push I need to keep running. It’s the feeling of joy that overtakes in those moments of stress. Hope is an anchor, a foothold. Something solid I can hold onto in the dark.
Hope is light; God’s light. Hope is the assurance that I am seen, known and are accepted. It is a reminder that I was created; that God thought of me, saw that he didn’t have one of me and then made me. Hope is the assurance that I am loved. Hope is the assurance that better days on their way. It is the motivation that gets me out of bed on days when my body says no. To me Hope is the thing that drives me to get out the door when my mind says no. It is what helps me make it through the day, even if it is stressful and anxiety filled. To me Hope is God’s promise; that He is love, that I am loved and that it will be well.
But this knowledge of His Grace, Mercy and love, this understanding of who I am in Him is not for me to know alone. In fact it is all our calling to share that knowledge, to share that Hope, the reason to the hope we have; because, Hope Roars.
And the reason for the hope that I have is simple. I’ve been asked many times as to why I believe in God; why someone who has been through so much in such a short life could possibly believe in a God who loves. But my answer to that is, I wouldn’t be here if not for God and His love. I have hope because I have seen and experienced God’s love in action and He has pulled me through.
I’ve learned that God’s calling is simple; Shine light for those who do not yet know the goodness of His love. And how does one do that? Share the Hope that you have. We all have a story to tell. I have a story, many stories I could share – have shared with people – out of faith that there was someone listening who needed to hear not what I had to say but what God had to, through me. But I guess that story is still being written, still being journeyed. And I guess there are still some things I deal with before I’m going to be able to help another person through their things. And I am saying today, that that is ok. All will be well.