Updated: Jan 31
On a recent Sunday morning, with steaming coffee in hand and a fuzzy blanket gathered under my arm, I made my way to my back screened porch. My Bible, a couple devotional books, and journal were already there from the day before. Though it was a frigid (in the 30's) March morning, after some very restless final hours of sleep—in and out of light sleep since 2:30 am—I knew I needed fresh morning air and a fresh morning perspective.
I got all wrapped up and situated and had a few sips of the hot coffee, first soaking in the sights and sounds of that beautiful, crisp morning, and then I opened to where I'd left off the day before in a devotional book a dear friend had recently gifted me. I flipped to the next page, and the word which titled day “Thirteen“ was the word HOPE. How fitting, I thought, that this was the word for the day's devotion because it was hope that was waning that particular morning. Not a lacking of foundational hope, a hope in my salvation, but more like a temporary depletion of hope that results when your mind is gripped by earth's hard and uncertain realities—when your mind is focused more on the temporary seen in your own personal world than the eternal unseen (2 Corinthians 4:18).
So, I proceeded to read the couple pages of the devotional, and then I focused my attention on the verse the author had highlighted at the beginning: Hebrews 6:19. "This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our soul. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary." What a comforting visual this Scripture was to my restless, wandering mind in that moment. And after meditating on it for a minute, I opened my Bible to Hebrews 6, wanting to read this familiar verse in its context.
By the time I had read through the chapter and had also backtracked through chapter 5 (also including the final verses of chapter 4), really taking my time to process and ponder the weighty realities encompassed in those chapters, my heavy heart felt lighter and my disturbed mind was at peace. It had not taken very long for hope to replace heaviness.
That's the transformative power of God's Word.
About a half hour later when my husband made his way to the porch (though the cold temps took him back inside after a minute or so), I shared with him what was weighing so greatly on my mind that morning and how these chapters had ministered specifically to the worries and uncertainties swirling in my mind.
Oh, how the unfolding of God’s Word brings light into the dark places!
How his Word gives the understanding we so greatly need!
After my mind had been so restless and unruly in the initial hours of the day, the Spirit used these chapters in Hebrews to speak directly into the realities I was burdened about. Though these chapters had been read many times before, evidenced by previous underlines and notes throughout my Bible’s margins, the words took on new life, speaking directly into present concerns that were weighing on my mind. As I read word after word, line upon line, the Holy Spirit illuminated the specific truths the Father wanted His dearly loved, troubled daughter to see that morning. Phrases and verses were highlighted and circled and then uttered back to the High Priest of Heaven. Earth's realities, now viewed in light of Heaven's perspective, were journaled. Burdens were acknowledged and then released to the One in the inner sanctuary in Whom my hope is anchored, firm and secure.
The old hymn testifies, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” A firm, sure foundation and a reliable anchor is my Savior, and in Him alone is my hope. Yes, my hope for salvation, and my hope for the day to day troubles and concerns as I sojourn through this life. Undoubtedly, it's the daily intake of the Word that helps me to grasp this, helps me to live this.
No matter what it is that troubles me or sits heavy on my heart—as monumental as it seems or as monumental as it actually might be—the Word brings me into the right perspective when I get quiet and still and allow it to do what God means it to do.
Every. Single. Time.
Fellow sojourner, I sincerely pray that no matter what your heart might be weighted down with this day, or no matter how greatly your hope might be abating, that you turn your attention to the living, active, powerful Word of God, allowing the Creator's truth to unfold and His light and understanding to bring Heaven's clarity to Earth's crises.
Later that morning as I stood in church, the pastor prayed a powerful prayer during the worship service, and I wiped away tears as he specifically addressed what I had woken up so concerned about. He even prayed specifically that hope would be brought back into the heart. I couldn't help but feel as though that particular request, while in the midst of more than a thousand hearers, was spoken just for me. As the pastor prayed, my husband reached his arm around my shoulders and gave me a squeeze, knowing how deeply that particular utterance to Heaven resonated in my heart. And in that moment, I felt another loving squeeze, one from my Heavenly Father, as He reminded me once again (only just a few hours after my early morning Hebrews session) that my hope is not anchored in earth's realities or personal feelings, but in Heaven's declarations.
Oh how sweet and gracious and tender is my God!
Oh how precious is His Word and His abiding Spirit (always working in tandem) that daily fill my heart with hope!
One final note. . .
At the elementary school where I work, there is a precept word for each month. Can you guess what this month's word is?
Yes, you guessed right.
A mere coincidence?
I think not.