Hope has a Name

Matthew 12

I froze on the sidewalk in the scorching summer heat with a six-year-old by my side and a toddler in the stroller.

We had popped into a grocery story 45 minutes from our home on a whim and then just as spontaneously decided to walk down to the Subway for lunch.

Nothing about this day was planned out or scheduled.  We could have just as easily been anywhere else at that moment.

But it was in that moment and there in that place that a stranger flew out of the doors of one of the storefronts, cigarette and phone in her hand, screaming at the air.

When she collapsed to the ground and cried so hard she almost stopped breathing, I rushed over, stooped down, placed my hands on her back and asked her what was wrong.

“My son is dead.”

That’s what she shouted.

It took time to sort through the mess of it all, how she was still on the phone and her younger son had just delivered the news that her 19-year-old boy had been killed in a car wreck.

I sat with her while others emerged. People poured out onto the sidewalk wondering about the commotion.

Pain like that can’t be contained and hushed up, quietly hidden away so as not to disturb anyone.  Pain like that is what makes us reach out to other when they collapse under the weight of their own trauma.

An older couple who had been out shopping stopped and whispered the sad truth, “We lost a son that same way.  We know what you’re going through.”

Store managers took charge of the practicalities, bringing her water, calling her boyfriend, covering her shift at work, calling emergency services to take her home.

Then a young man walked down pushing his own infant son in a stroller.  He cradled her face in his hands and told her to give it to God.

He shared his own hurt, how his oldest son was in a coma about 8 hours away after a car accident four months ago.  “What else can I do but just keep going and give it to God?”

We were eye-witnesses and onlookers to the worst moment of her life.

My son squirmed in the stroller and reached out for me, not sure what to make of the scene.  My daughter quietly looked on, staring wide-eyed at the stranger crying right there on the pavement.

I reached out to reassure them and then asked if I could pray for her, and we brought the ugliness and the pain straight to Jesus.

This woman I didn’t know looked up at me with eyes that held no hope.

We can mosey about life thinking we’re doing okay or at least we’re pushing through, but when you’re knocked down onto the sidewalk, that’s what reveals the truth about us and the hope we’ve been clinging to.

This world constantly mistakes hope for wishful thinking, anyway, and we toss around “hope” like it’s little more than a catchphrase or polite conversation.

I hope you get that job.

I hope you have a good day.

I hope it all works out for ya.

I hope you get better soon.

But as Christians, we don’t have wishful-thinking-hope.  We don’t have positive-thoughts-hope.

Hope has a name and that name is Jesus.

And his name will be the hope
    of all the world (Matthew 12:21 NLT).

Jesus gives us confident-assurance-hope.  Because of Him, we have rock-solid-hope that God is with us and that God will save us and that God won’t abandon us.

In her book, Brave Enough, Nicole Unice writes about the word “tharseo” in Scripture, how it’s used four places in the Gospels and each time it’s spoken by Jesus Himself.

To a paralyzed man lowered down to Jesus by four friends who scaled a roof and took it apart in order to help their friend:  Take heart, my son;your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2 ESV).

To the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years: “Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well” (Matthew 9:22 ESV).

To the disciples alone in the boat out on a storm-tossed sea: “But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:27 ESV).

To the disciples…and to us….”I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 ESV).

Nicole Unice says this word means:

Tharseo: Courage.
Jesus is near!
Forgiven sin.
Healed lives.
Powerful presence.”

Take Heart.

It’s Jesus we need.  It’s in His presence we find courage, forgiveness, healing, and yes, we find the Hope we’ve been looking for.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2015 Heather King

9 thoughts on “Hope has a Name

  1. GodGirl says:

    This is beautiful and profound. I really feel for the woman and her terrible loss! May she truly find hope in the person of Jesus. Because truly there is no real hope anywhere else…

  2. rhemaverse says:

    Heather!

    Blessings to you in the mighty name of our Dear Lord Jesus Christ.

    Please forgive me, for I know this is the most inappropriate means of connecting with you…but this is the avenue I could find.

    First of all, I want thank God for your life and the awesome work He is doing through you on this blog!

    To Him alone be all the GLORY!

    My name is Tim and I am the founder of the newly unveiled Christian Social Media/Community known as: Rhemalog

    If I may crave your indulgence, I will quickly like to intimate you on our purpose, goals and objectives.

    The name Rhemalog is a compound word, coined from both “Rhema” and “Log”.
    It means, putting into writing(Log), your encounters in the Word of God(Rhema).
    That is, sharing with the beloved, the things that God has shown unto you in His Word.

    Rhemalog was established by the leading of the Holy Spirit, as a platform to enrich and impact the body of Christ all over the World!

    You will agree with me that there is a lot of degradation going on.
    Abuse, spiritual contaminations, mental pollutions and attacks on our faith.

    All you need is to refresh your social-media pages long enough…then boom!
    There you have it, in your face!
    But.
    Wouldnt it be awesome to have a sanctified environment?

    A platform built solely for the Children of God.
    Devoid of negativity around us, but filled with inspirations, encouragements and above all, the WORD OF GOD!

    A breath of fresh air. Family friendly, conducive, loving and embracing.

    Your own family of fellow brethren, encouraging, building, cheering on and strengthening each other on a daily basis!

    This is our driving force.
    The clarion call that moved us to put Rhemalog in place.

    And this is our call to you: Would you like to join us?

    As one of the (Christian) thinkers and opinion-makers out there, logically, it is a no-brainer that we need you, especially since our main goal is to ensure that the people are well fed.

    We need your insightful thoughts. Inspirational ideas. Well written pieces. We need YOU!

    We need you, not only as a member, but also as an A-List contributor.

    And we already have all the tools required.

    – Personal Blogging feature
    – Video sharing
    – Community pages (think facebook pages)
    – Timelines and profiles
    – Pictures, etc

    Together, we can build one of the most vibrant and impact-full communities out there.

    Should you decide to join us now:

    – Your personal blog and info will be shared on our social media pages (with over 67,000 members)

    – As an early adopter, you will be a part of a huge and influential community at its infant stage.

    – Your community page will be featured, if you create one. Meaning, it will come up first in searches and views (with its own cute ribbon)

    – You can host all your youtube and vimeo videos, thereby increasing your viewer-ship and enhancing your reach.

    Well, “gold and silver” we have not.
    But can you help us be a blessing to the children of God out there?

    The address of the website is:

    rhemalog dot com (No need to create an unsolicited backlink!)

    It will be a huge honour and we will be waiting for you.

    The first step is to be registered. Duration of your submissions will be totally up to you. To keep up though, we would suggest you begin by sharing the links to your blog posts, later on, you can start doing reblogs or creating unique postings using our blog feature.

    However, in-between, we would love your quips, wits, quotes and words of wisdom, posted on your homepage timeline. We consider these to be quick tonic for the soul…snacks for those in hurried need of inspiration and motivations.

    Whichever option you choose, we cannot wait to have a drink from the fountain of your God-given wisdom.

    Thanks and may God continually keep His face shining on you.

    Yours in Christ,

    Tim (Rhemalog Community)

  3. Nina says:

    Good morning Heather! This post has been featured on the Ruby for Women blog and we will be promoting it throughout the week on all of our social media sites. Thanks so much for sharing your writing with the Ruby community. Nina

What are your thoughts? Please comment here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s