Hope. It's a powerful, precious thing, but it's fragile. When secure, it takes us to new places, new heights and sets us up to soar. Josh has a story of hope he'd like to share. It started on the hardest day of his life.
At 19, he learned he was dying. As reality sunk in, fear rose up and the loss of a hundred broken dreams crushed and pummeled his heart. Josh was afraid. Are you afraid? Facing a mountain you can't climb? Does life require more than you have to give? Is the future uncertain? Unsettling? Overwhelming? That's exactly where Josh found himself. But hope shows up in the most suprising places.
In the first book of the Bible, the 16th chapter of Genesis, we meet a woman named Hagar who is overwhelmed. Abused and mistreated, she is fleeing for her life. Out in the desert, she encounters God. He sees her. Speaks to her and gives her a gift that alters the course of her life: hope, a hope forged within a breaking heart. The story of Hagar reminds us that God sees. He knows. My name, he declares, is written on his palm. He sees, hears and responds in beautiful, suprising and unexpected ways.
For Josh, it came through a Chevy truck commercial. The timing could only have been orchestrated in heaven itself. God's like that. He comes to us in unexpected ways. He is both predictable and suprising. He comes predictably, like the rising of the sun. He comes unexpectedly, like a rainbow that splashes across a storm-worn sky. Are you on a journey? Hope changes everything. As Josh faced the reality of a life cut short, heaven loomed large. He found his hope of heaven fell painfully short for it rested on what he had done and how he had lived. A personal inventory revealed a distracted, selfish, Josh-centered life. "I haven't lived for God. I haven't been good enough to get into heaven." We responded, "And you never will, Josh." Life with God begins and centers on his pursuit of us. Jesus came to us as a baby to live and die and rise to conquer sin, death and pain. Jesus comes to us today. Every day. To conquer all that keeps us from his love.
That kind of love and the reality of God's pursuit changed everything. Free and alive and filled with hope, Josh is living the very best days of his life on the front porch of heaven. We all are-really. We all are living on the front porch of heaven, but sometimes we forget. Today we are invited to remember the front porch, the love, the pursuit and the hope that is ours.
If you'd like to talk to someone about your own journey of faith or a burden that is weighing your down, consider contacting Focus on the Family. They have trained counselors available to talk on the phone. You can set up a time for a phone conversation at 1-855-771-4357 or you can send in an email request to https://focusonthefamily.webconnex.com/counselingrequests