Today’s post features guest contributor, Deb Hoang. She is a living proof of God’s restorative grace at work-in-progress as a wife, mother, friend, and follower of Christ. She has tremendous reverence for power of words to influence and inspire people’s thoughts and actions. As she shares her personal reflections, she prays they will echo God’s truth.
The unbearable ache was like a tight fist crushing around my heart. Cowardly, I took refuge in a tiny infant room packed with adorable babies. As I tried to regain my composure, hot tears of shame poured down my cheeks. The beckoning stares and twisted limbs of young children squirming in stained cribs with soiled diapers awoke me from what I thought was a noble, yet romantic notion of working with orphans in a third world country. The heartbreaking reality of their living condition overwhelmed and frightened me.
I cried because I felt helpless and hopeless.
What could I possibly do when their needs are so great, and I am just one person?
I am not equipped with proper training or resources to make any difference?
However, there were seasoned volunteers, whose spiritual eyes saw beyond the circumstance and loved the children with patience, compassion, and joy.
As I reflect back on my experience, I realize my awakening to their plight should have led me to the hope of future glory as promised by God in 1 Peter 1:3-6:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
God’s use of the term “living hope” is different from commonly used term “hope” as a mere luck or desire for the best result, like dandelion seeds floating across with the wind.
On the contrary, our “living hope” is based on the assurance of God’s eternal perspective. Certainly, we will experience fulfillment of our hopes in this lifetime, but the realization of our ultimate hope is reserved for eternity as our inheritance.
Moreover, the foundation of this “living hope” is God’s sovereignty and identity. Simply put, our loving Father will do what’s best for His children. When we confidently entrust ourselves, our loved-ones, and every precious life to God’s power and purpose, we can never lose “living hope” even when oppositions or obstacles seem overwhelming.
So, let me ask this question: Have we really “fallen asleep to suffering, injustice, and evil in our world” as Christine Caine remarks? * Maybe we don’t desire to look, afraid to feel too deeply. Or maybe we are consumed with the responsibilities of life. In the busyness of daily life, prioritizing what’s important over what’s urgent will be a struggle.
Nevertheless, I want to challenge us to make that choice.
Choose to be ambassadors of hope.
Open the eyes of our heart.
Seize the divine opportunities God provides.
Prayer verse: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)
* Caine, Christine. Undaunted: Study Guide. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012. P.46.
Note: This series of devotionals reflect on concepts and truths presented in Undaunted, a Bible study by Christine Caine. The devotionals are be written by Deb Hoang, Erin Nicole Thompson, and Tracy Stella as noted.