A few weeks ago, I took a spontaneous trip to Utah with one of my friends (here’s a shout-out Bails). We just kind of randomly planned out this weekend long hiking trip, and what started as a weekend plan turned into a whole week long visit. We were able to travel a few parts of the state, see a few of the most beautiful national parks, and do some pretty awesome hiking during that week. At times, the views we saw of the mountains and canyons brought us to tears. It’s crazy how something can be that beautiful. The sights we saw were breathtaking, and views like that are such a reassurance that there is something so much greater than I am. It’s always such a humbling experience. Seeing things like that are guaranteed “Okay, God..I know you are here” moments. It was also just a good little break from reality back home. I didn’t have to worry about school work the whole time I was out there, and it was just overall a refreshing getaway.
We came back with lots of awesome pictures, and even better stories. Some stories I have gone on and on about even up until this point. Some are funny, some are not, and some are just completely random..but those seem to be the ones I hold onto so closely. Those are the kinds of stories that make trips. You can be so excited to tell those kinds of stories to your mom and dad..they will just give you this look of, “was I supposed to laugh at that?” and you just still hold onto it so dearly.
I have a story kind of like that, and as time goes on..I’ve held on tighter and tighter to it..
This story involves us meeting a guy named Freddy, and this particular guy had some thoughts that I would like to share.
One of the nights that we went out, I was randomly approached by a guy standing next to us. The first words out of his mouth were, “I like your bracelet!”..(I wear a bracelet almost every day that says the word “hope”…. I responded with a, “Thank you,” just before he loudly said, “HOPE!!–I LOVE HOPE! Everyone’s got it!” I came to find out that his name was Freddy, and we quickly became friends because he liked my bracelet so much. I asked him what his hope was in, and his response was similar to a lot of other people I know, and even my 19 year old self….his hope, many people’s hope, my 19 year old self’s hope…was in himself, is in themselves, was in myself. Freddy loved this bracelet..this word.. so much. He loved it because his hope was in himself and his future and he trusted that was firm enough. Hope in those things was good to him, just as it is good to millions of other people in this world.
That story was funny because a random guy was ecstatic about me wearing a little bracelet with the word hope on it…
As time goes on, that story becomes more real in my mind, and it saddens me to see his excitement for the hope he has in something that will disappoint unless it is anchored in something firm.
Today while spending some sweet time with Jesus, I thought about Freddy’s comment on hope. All I could do was thank God for hope. I am so thankful for the hope I have in Jesus. I am so thankful that God showed me that the hope I have in myself or things of this earth will only disappoint. I am so thankful that God sent His son, Jesus, to bear our sins..our failures..our weaknesses..and defeat death so that I can rest my hope in Him. I now have this firm hope, one that will not break and does not deceive.
Hebrews 6:19-20 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. Where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
This hope we have, as followers of Jesus, is fixed. It is external to us, proposed to us, and available for us to grasp onto. It’s a SURE anchor– one that does not drag, has found firm ground, and holders may trust to it. It’s a STEADFAST anchor– one that is firm, will not break, and strong in its OWN substance. There needs to be no fear in it snapping no matter what kind of strain is put on it. This hope in Jesus is free from all imperfections, and it doesn’t stop there. It is carried into the depths of the ocean, ones where we cannot alone go or see through. In anchoring ourselves to Jesus, we are anchoring ourselves to the very roots of God.
As I read through that and realize how gracious God is to provide us with this hope, I also become so heartbroken for those who do not have hope in Jesus. My heart aches for those who place hope solely in themselves, others, things of this world..and my heart breaks even more for those who don’t have hope in anything. It weighs my heart down to know that this perfect hope is freely given, but not always received.As I thank Jesus tonight (and hopefully every other day) for the sure and steadfast hope I have in Him, I also pray that He reveals to others the hope they can have in Him.
“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:24-25