Reaching for Hope

reaching-for-hope-7There is a hallway in my grandparents’ home with ledges that line both walls. These little ledges are filled with pictures. Family gatherings, weddings, baby pics, snapshots of relatives near and far. Some in black and white, some more recent. I love looking at these walls every time I visit.

We were staying there this past weekend, and as I scanned the pictures this time I noticed something about myself I hadn’t seen before. In the ones spanning a certain stage of my life, (around teens to early 20s) there was a noticeable difference I thought. I looked pretty much the same, smiling in each one. But it was my eyes that told the truth. The smile didn’t quite reach them. They looked sad, empty, and lonely. And they were.

They had seen things they wished they didn’t have to see. Witnessed hurts, found rejection, lost hope, and they didn’t know where to turn anymore. Those eyes were living in darkness.

Psalm 38:10 My heart throbs; my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes- it also has gone from me.

Matthew 6:22-23 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”

Maybe you’ve been there too? Maybe even now?

Sometimes we can go through our days seeming pretty normal, doing alright we think, but the light doesn’t really reach our eyes when we smile. Maybe we’ve lost sight of it. Maybe we’re not sure we’ve ever really seen it.

As I stood there in the hall, I reached for a more recent picture and held it up to one of the old ones. And there it was. A new light, a restored hope. The difference was so clear. Because at the end of those earlier years, I began to search for something better. And I began to hope. The Lord was calling me out of darkness and into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). I asked him for help and he answered. Because that’s who he is, and that’s what he does.

Psalm 119:37 Turn my eyes from worthless things; give me life in your ways.

Mark 8:25 Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.

John 8:12 Again Jesus spoke to them saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Heavenly Father, thank you that you always hear us when we call to you. Thank you that you can bring light to our darkness and hope to our hearts again, making us new in you Lord. Help us to turn our eyes and our hearts towards you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

“I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”  Hymn by S. Sundar Singh

I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
Though I may wonder, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
Though none go with me, still I will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
Will you decide now to follow Jesus?
No turning back, no turning back.

 

 

 

 

 

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