This past weekend we heard from Josh D. about a verse in 1 Samuel that brings him hope reminding Him that God knows what’s best for him and will bring it about in His time and way. He sent me the content for that post about 4 weeks ago now and shortly after sending it found himself in a pretty dark place of questions and doubt. In conversations I had with him, I pointed him back to the very words he had sent me, but, as it often happens with the “dark” seasons of life, it was hard for him to see God’s goodness and plan and he was struggling. Just this last week I got the following message from Josh who asked me to share it on my blog in this series as well. He wanted everyone to hear his story of how God restored his hope…
“Hey Bekah, I have another hope story. This one just happened today.
Okay, so I’ve been going through one of the darkest times of my life lately. Things haven’t been going really well and my faith has been struggling. Well, today and yesterday a dude named Keith Hawkins came in to my school and changed my life. I was so happy I got selected to join in and help run his event, so I got a chance to talk to him. I don’t know if I have seen God through any other man more than this guy. He is the most down to earth, sweet, Christian guy I have ever met. He literally treats everyone how he wants to be treated.
One of the activities Keith put us through was we had to sit down with kids [at our school] we had never even met and tell them about our worst experiences in life, our hardest times. Well I was talking and couldn’t even get through my story, I broke down in the middle of it. He had a gym of 200 macho guys in high school broken down crying. So after that, I was siting there thinking a lot about my problems and about how kids I’ve never met before being there for me, telling me they’re always there to talk.
I went up to Keith after the workshops to say thanks, and I told him I’ve never really told any of that to anyone. He was explaining to me how it was good to keep guys around like that that you can express your feelings to and tell about your problems, and in the middle of his sentence I broke down again crying in front of him. He grabbed my hand, looked into my eyes, and he said ‘Don’t worry, it’s gonna be okay.” A man who has never met me, didn’t know a thing about my story, looked me right in the eye and told me it was gonna be okay… That was God talking, I have no doubt about that.
I have been in a dark, dark place, but just that one sentence… He said “Don’t worry brother, it’s gonna be okay, it’s gonna be okay.” I fell apart… After weeks and weeks of not being able to trust anything or see anything clearly, he comes in without knowing anything about me and in one sentence changes my life, gives me complete hope about the situation… Completely filled me with God, restoring a huge part of what I lost in my faith, gave me hope about the situation, legitimate hope, which I have not had in a long time…”
Beyond the extreme joy in seeing God restore Josh’s hope, I love this story because it reminds us of how God uses US to restore hope in other people’s lives. For him it was just a simple phrase from a stranger… a reminder that God is bigger. A few weeks ago I was in a Bible study and the speaker wrapped up our time together with these two simple, but beautiful facts:
1. Christ is on a mission to redeem YOU.
2. Christ is on a mission to redeem the WORLD through YOU.
It’s true. Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, hope is restored and we are redeemed. As redeemed people in Christ, He then uses us in his mighty redemption plan. It may be as simple as a smile to a stranger or bringing dinner to a family in grief. It might be simply asking “How are you?” and actually listening to someone’s answer.
Who in your life could use some restored hope right now? What simple thing might you be able to do to be a part of God’s redemption plan?