31 Days of Hope – Day 12
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus Philippians 4:6-7
Whether you are facing life from inside the four walls of a nursing home or the four walls of your apartment or house our need for God’s help doesn’t change. There are hours we all pass through when we have lost patience and through tears of frustration hope seems far away. But God’s presence and promise to take care of us as our shepherd and provide for our needs hasn’t changed.
At that very moment when we can feel the dark shadows closing in around our world God stands close and anxiously waits for us to leave our anxieties and needs at His feet. He will not stop caring for us when the cares of life press in. He will not abandon us when we feel alone. He hears our worried thoughts and listens to our prayers. He stands ready to come to our aid. He has not failed, forgotten us or written us off. Our great Savior guides us through every night and carries our hope in His hands.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
“How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy he gives”
Go the lines from the Gaither song “Because He Lives” The sweetness of holding a baby is nowhere seen more powerfully than in a nursing home. Sadly there are few people willing to bring their babies in so the staff provides lifelike dolls for the residents to cradle. They gently rock their baby and their faces light up with smiles. It is almost as if God has built into us a response of hope for the future every time we see a tiny baby.
But our hope for the future is not based on babies, or baby dolls. True eternal hoe is based on the promise of God’s word. Whether sitting in a nursing facility or standing in a cap and gown waiting to graduate from high school our future hope is always in the love of God. His plans for us are to give us hope. His plans for our future are always for our good. We can trust Him to our final breathe here on earth, knowing that in a moment we will be breathing in our first breathe of heaven!
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses Matthew 8:17
If we think that God is so intimately concerned with our physical needs that He has counted even the number of hairs on our head. We have a great hope that whether in this life or in the next; God will heal every disease, restore all that is broken and renew our youth like the eagles!
Whether sitting in a wheel chair in a nursing home or confined to a bed with a tracheotomy tube in order to breathe, Jesus offers the hope of complete and entire healing as one part of His promise of eternal life. That promise may be overlooked or forgotten by we who are in perfect health, yet God does not forget. The same Jesus who was moved with compassion for lepers, the blind and the lame has promised to wipe every tear from our eyes. He not only has compassion for our aches, pains and disabilities but the Bible tells us that He took all of these onto his shoulders and carried them. If we continue reading in the chapter of Isaiah that Matthew quotes we see that in the very next verse that it is by His stripes that we are healed. God is so very concerned for every one of our pains and infirmities that He allowed a whip to fall across the shoulders of Jesus. As He was wounded again and again we were being healed. Weak arms will be lifted, failing voices will sing again and deaf ears will hear the shepherd’s voice! Yes we have the hope of healing! When the temporary things of earth have passed we will stand strong and eternally young in the presence of our ageless King!
That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.
Most of us naturally forget that the drawing near of Sabbath did not mean that it would soon be dawn, but that it would soon be night. As Joseph and Nicodemus carried the lifeless body of Jesus they hurried. By law they must be done before the dark of Sabbath.
But the dark of the beginning of Sabbath rest was not a curse but a sign of hope. The sun had set on the final hour of labor for the week. The hours ahead -all 24 of them belonged to God. God intended for Sabbath to be more than simply endured. Sabbath was God’s special day and a time to be anxiously awaited and hoped for. Jesus lay still in the tomb on the day of rest in hope of the resurrection. There was no defeat in that darkness but a joyful quiet waiting knowing what The Father had planned.