2013-12-11 / Religion

“Christ Came to Provide Hope”

Jim Inspiration

Of our three grandchildren, the youngest is by far the most outgoing, energetic, and likely to get into things. Addyson remained true to her three year old character the other night in a way that could have had a frightening result. While Gale and I were away, the children and grandchildren came to the house as they do occasionally. During their stay Addyson discovered a big grapefruit on the dining room table; being the fruit lover that she is she asked her mother for some of the grapefruit. Jessica apparently did not respond quickly enough, so Addy, in her adventurous nature, decided to take matters in her own hands. We try to keep things safe in our home with so many children in and out, but when you have Addy around nothing is off limits and anything is likely to happen. She went to the kitchen and opened a drawer filled with various utensils—most of which are unsuitable for an unsupervised three year old to be in possession of. She found the sharpest knife that we have in the house and quietly went to work on the grapefruit, which she successfully cut in two. But in the process she split one of her tiny fingers. Thankfully, as it turned out, the wound was not serious and did not require any medical intervention.

The bright side of Addyson’s story is that she learned a hard lesson that seems to be sticking in her mind. When she is asked about using a knife, her response is now a quick and adamant “No!” (After all the drama involved, Addyson didn’t even like the grapefruit!)

Our lives should be spent learning lessons from the things that we face. Some of the difficult things that we encounter are the result of our poor choices while others are simply no fault of our own. Nevertheless, each one can serve to enrich our lives if we allow it to.

A few days ago a dear friend, who is much younger than I, died after several years of struggles with his health I knew Robert’s days were likely drawing to an end, yet I expected at least another few days with him. Nevertheless, God’s timing is always perfect and can be trusted. Yet what lesson can I possibly learn from seeing small children that I love dearly grieving bitterly at the news of their daddy’s death, while knowing that I could not do anything to change their circumstances? Even in the midst of sorrow, there is the reminder that God is in control and that He came to provide us hope that endures even when circumstances appear hopeless.

As we celebrate Christmas, let us remember that Christ came so that we can have hope even when our hearts are broken because of pain, loss and confusion. Hundreds of years before Christ was born in Bethlehem the prophet Isaiah foretold concerning Christ’s life and mission: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn” (Isaiah 61:1-2, New International Version).

Of all that we encounter in life, may we rest assured that the hope that Christ provided centuries ago is still available to us today.

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