Empty jars aren't much fun, except for the possibilities, the hope of what they might hold, someday.
Hope is a powerful word. Hope is something we don't see, yet hope can bring us a powerful gift, a vision of what could be.
Hope left by itself will not fill a jar. Hope needs companions. It needs determination, and dedication and desire.
I just finished reading an amazing book, that made me think of hope. It was filled with determination, dedication and desire. It is a true story about a young girl who was raised by drug addicted parents in New York City. A young girl who as a preteen, wound up homeless, completely by herself. Many people failed her; parents, other relatives, teachers, and social workers. Her life was spiraling down the wrong path, and she felt like a helpless, hopeless participant in her life.
Until, one day. The day hope entered her world.
I won't give the story away. You really need to read it. But, when she found hope, coupled with the three D's, determination, dedication and desire; her world changed. Oh, she was still homeless, sleeping wherever she could. But she went back to high school at age 16, with all her worldly possessions in her backpack, along with her heavy textbooks. She completed 4 years of high school in just two years with an A average! While homeless! That is what hope can do. She wanted a different life, and knew no one would hand it to her. But hope could, and it did. She got that different life, she earned a scholarship and was accepted into Harvard. I am not giving the story away, because it is in the title of the book, Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray
Hope is a powerful thing. It can change lives, it can change us. As Christians we have a hope that is beyond what any hope in this world can offer. We have the hope of eternal life with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Titus 3: 5-7 We have the hope of comfort through any tribulation this world might bring. Romans 5: 3-5
Let's look closely at a few scriptures on hope. (emphasis in all the scriptures below is mine)
Romans 5: 5 says,
and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8: 24 says,
For in hope, we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we eagerly expect.
Hebrews 6: 18b-19 says,
...we may have strong encouragement, we who have fled for refuge in laying hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast...
Hope is a gift, a gift that does not disappoint. Just like that empty bottle, we don't see anything in it, but it is full of possibility. So it is with hope. Hope is not something you can see. Yet, hope brings with it a feeling, a possibility, a dogged perseverance to keep on going. Hope gives us a strong inner encouragement, an anchor to keep us steadfast to keep on going. It brings to us determination, dedication, and desire for something better.
What do you hope for? I am not talking a casual wish, but real genuine HOPE. You and I are that empty jar, daily we fill our jars with something.
Fill your jar with HOPE, and you will not be disappointed. It will give you the persistence, the determination to give you the victory in the trials of this life, while you await the great homecoming of heaven!
While reading the story of Liz Murray, I couldn't stop thinking of Katherine, one of my former students. This is for her.
To Katherine, wherever you are. You were my Liz. You walked in the first day of class, and I immediately judged you. You walked proudly and unashamedly into a sea of freshly pressed clothes and lilly white faces; you with your gothic look, a stark contrast to everyone else present. I was so wrong. I grew to love you. I think you taught me more that I may have taught you. I knew you had a hard life, and sometimes slept on a park bench. Yet, you were always present, and so smart. Even though we shared many a private talk, and you became one of the students I will forever carry in my heart, I wonder, did I give you hope? When you looked in my eyes, did you see someone who believed in you, who knew you could do it? Because I did, and I still do.