“As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more” - Psalm 71:14 (NIV).
A bestselling book written by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken, that sold over 10 million copies worldwide, is about a fighter jet during World War 11 that crashed in the Pacific. Out of its 11 crew only three initially survived the crash. Louise, Phil and Mac swam up to a raft, where they clung hoping for rescue.
Louise was a legendary Olympic marathoner who wished after the war to go back and compete in the next Olympic 5,000 marathon race slated in Tokyo. Phil had joined the war after being engaged to his childhood school sweet heart, Cecy, and was impatient to get back home, marry and start a family. But Mac didn’t have much of a story. Once they got on the raft his mates had to restrain him as he kept screaming, “we are going to die!”
Lost at sea, the trio survived on rain water (they couldn’t take salty sea water) and scooping out fish, which they ate raw, while fighting off sharks. Louise and Phil were always hopeful they would make it, because of the life they wanted to return to. Mac didn’t have any hope. He kept confessing death. And sadly, but surely, he died on the 34th day at sea.
Left alone, the pair, Louse and Phil would drift for a record 47 days till the raft hit an island. Captured by the Japanese, their ordeal was not over. They were imprisoned for two and half years under extremely harsh conditions. But finally, once the war came to an end in August, 1945 they were released and the two soldiers, who had been before reported dead, returned to their ecstatic families.
Hope is what saved them. The Bible describes hope as one of the major gifts we have as Christians - And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.. (1 Cor. 13:13). Paul wrote to the Romans, “And we boast in the hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2). He later went on to explain, “hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Rom. 8:24-25)
When people are hit with trials one of the greatest weapon they need for survival is hope. Everyone these days talks of building immunity against Covid -19, yet there is no immunity as effective as hope. Once one loses hope there goes a life. The beauty of being a Christian is that those that believe carry within them that hope of a risen Christ wherever they go.
Today, do not lose that hope, regardless of whatever circumstances. Keep hope alive for hope will get you through any dangerous seas.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I thank you for the hope you have given me through Christ Jesus, which empowers me to live on joyfully, this I pray in Jesus’s name.
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!