It's day one of our Week of Hope and I'm so happy to have you joining us. I'll be sending out one of these emails and videos each day this week.
Today I hope you enjoy Pam and Natasha’s stories of restoration. It shows you how a simple meal can lead to miracle!
Hope can be simply for a meal when you’re hungry and have nothing. But God created us for far more than getting our basic needs met. His plans for each of us are to “prosper and be in health even as our soul prospers” … and to give us “a future and a hope.”
For those who’ve lost hope, however, it’s hard for them to get past either the shame of their past or their present adverse circumstances. They’re not future-minded … dreaming of what could be and then believing it will happen. Instead they believe what their negative experiences have taught them: that their innermost desires will never be met. Life may be good for others, but it will never be good for them.
I see this all the time at the Mission. A beaten-down-by-life person comes in for a meal with only one goal: to survive another day. But gradually they’re fed something else … a heaping of hope being served daily by those around them. Some are volunteers working in the dining room. Others are staff members that befriend our guests and offer helpful resources. Their heart is to help pull their brother out of the muck and mire that some of them too once rolled around in—stuck, with no way out.
Whatever their role at the Mission, these purveyors of hope all share one thing in common: they all dared to believe—pushing through the pain of their own past disappointments and present difficulties to land on the other side of despair.
This is when hope becomes more than a meal. Or a place to sleep. Or a job. It’s a hope in an unfailing God that pays both eternal and temporal dividends. As C.S Lewis said, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and you will get neither.”
My prayer for you over the next six days is that you will come to a deep understanding that God cares for you deeply, He has an amazing plan for your life, and there is a way through the frustration and disappointment you may be feeling.
Jonathan D. Anderson