It has been a while since I sat down to write. There are a lot of things bouncing around in my head so this might just be a bit of rambling but hopefully I can share some of the things that are on my heart.
I was reading in my Bible in the third chapter of Acts. It is one of my favorite stories. Peter and John are on their way to the Temple to pray. This is something they must have done on a regular basis from the way it reads. As they approach the door of the Temple, a man calls to them in an effort to get their attention.
This man had been lame all of his life. For years, people had carried him to the Temple and laid him beside the busiest entrance so he could beg money of those coming and going by him. This was all he had known and this was all he expected from life. When he saw the two men approach, he once again asked for money. To what must have been his surprise, instead of ignoring him or tossing a coin his way, one of them said. “Look at us!”
His heart must have began to beat a bit faster as he thought he was about to receive a memorable amount of money from them. Then as equally fast, it must have plunged to his crippled feet as the next words spoken were, “We don’t have any money!”
Here was a man whose only hope everyday was that people would have pity on him. His hope was that he would receive enough from others that he could slip through life. His greatest hope was that someone would be kind enough to give him just a little more and make his life a bit easier. That was his hope. However, his hopes are crushed! Then God moves on a couple of preachers to take him to “a place where hope had never dared to go!” Peter said, “I don’t have money but I will give you what I have!” Taking him by the right hand, he commanded the man who had been lame to arise and walk! As he lifted him, the lame man’s feet and ankles received strength. He not only arose, he not only walked, but he went leaping, running, and praising God through the temple. For the first time in his life, he entered the temple because those who were lame were not permitted to enter the temple. He was no longer lame! The ban had been lifted!
God’s greatest desire for us is to take us to “a place where hope has never dared to go!” If we are children of the King of Kings then we have the right to the benefits of the kingdom. We are too often afraid to dream or even to hope that life can be different. Too often, we are content to ask for the leftovers, the spare change. God’s desire is to give us more that we can dare to hope. The world tells us think positive thoughts, but in our despair, we cannot even hope!
Paul speaks to us from Ephesians chapter three about God’s feeling for us. I do not have the time or space to go into a deep study on this but let me briefly share what God spoke to me. God fills us with His Spirit to help us to understand the magnitude of His love for us. To allow us to share the power and fullness of life that comes from Him. His Spirit living in us is to allow Him to do so much more than we can ever hope for or dream. It is His desire to take us to a “place where hope has never dared to go!”
We are not destined to live with broken hearts. Yes they will come. Life will happen and our hearts will be broken. Bad choices that we make will lead us to broken hearts. Life happening will often results in broken hearts. Sins of loved ones and those dear to us will often lead to broken hearts. However, we must realize that we are not fated to live with them. They are just opportunities for God to take us to “a place where hope has never dared to go!” He came to heal the broken heart! He came to make it new again! The broken heart is an opportunity for God to show His power and His love in a life!
Failures and defeat are part of life. We make mistakes. We fail in judgment! Oh if we could only live the moment again we would do it so differently. We cannot call back or relive those moments. Chains hold us captive by the mistakes and failures of yesterdays gone by. Fear holds us captive! Bonds of fear chain us. We are listening to the haunting taunts of failure! We will be happy with a couple of additional links in the chains to let us to move. We would never dare to hope those chains would be removed and we would be free to live and hope again! Hey! I have great news for you! Jesus Christ came to set the captive free! He came to take you to a place where hope has never dared to go! You can be free from you yesterdays. You can know a brand new tomorrow walking with Jesus Christ and allowing Him to set you free!
I have known people who lived in fear. Fear blinds you. You cannot see because of fear. Hurts and wrongs in your life will cause you to live in fear. This fear will blind you to what God wants to do in your life. A person who is blinded will always remember the last thing they saw before the injury. Too many people have allowed life to blind them and they live with a picture of the hurts and injuries that have happened to them. It is all they see. God has touched their lives, but all they see is the hurt. God has filled them with His Spirit, but all they see is the hurt. God has promised them joy, peace and righteousness, but all they see is the hurt! Again, I want you to know He came to heal the blinded eyes. Not just those physical eyes that are unable to see, He came to heal the spiritual, emotional eyes that are unable to see past yesterday! He came to take you to a “place where hope has never dared to go!”
Life impacts us! Sometimes it impacts in a good way. Many times life impacts in ways of sorrow and pain. Impact, a crash, blow or shock to our body will leave a bruise. We all have had bruises. We know them to be both ugly and painful reminders of the impact. They tell me that the bruise is the result of stopping the blood from flowing through that area. Until the blow resumes to flow there will be a bruise and healing will not take place for healing is in the blood. When the blood is set free to flow again then healing begins to take place and soon the bruise is gone and the impact is behind us. He came to liberate the bruised! Life shocks us. Life hurts us. Life affects us leaving bruises in its place. Once again, God is the difference maker! The blood of Jesus Christ will heal. God will take us to “a place where hope never dared to go.”
I remember several years ago that God spoke to me, as if in an audible voice, about being a God of Comfort. (Read my blog on the Great God of Comfort). The passage was from Second Corinthians chapter one and Paul speaks to tell us that God allows us to go through suffering, pain and misfortune so that we can experience His Comfort. However, it does not stop there. We experience His Comfort so that we might share that Comfort with others when they also go through suffering, pain and misfortune.
I had this driven home fourteen months ago. I was standing in an ICU waiting room with my son Jared. In the ICU, room was his fiancé. They were to be married in about five weeks. All of his hopes and dreams lay at deaths door. I am his father. All of his life I have tried to protect him from pain, suffering and misfortune. I have tried to fix those things that were wrong and make them right. That day I stood helpless.
I was talking on the phone to Abby, my daughter and I began to weep. Just a few years earlier, I had stood with her and Kelsey when they had lost their baby. Again, I had been unable to protect them or to fix things so they would not hurt. As I began to weep, I told her how helpless I felt. I had not been able to protect her and I could not do anything for Jared. It hurt so badly and my heart broke. I will never forget what Abby told me that day. She said, “Dad it is alright. You and mom have taught us there are times we just have to rely on God. Because we have gone through these times, we can now put our arms around others and tell them from experience that God will be there and God will heal and deliver! This is the only way we can really know that.” Once again, God took me to “a place where hope never dared to go!”
The lame man only hoped for a couple of dimes. God took him to “place where hope never dared to go.” How about you, what is it that you are dealing with that has broken you heart. What is it that has you bound, blinded or bruised? Is it the past? Is it the failure of a marriage? Is it the repeated mistakes? Is it the death of a loved one? There are so many things? However, I promise you God wants to take you to “a place where hope has never dared to go!” Let Him…
It’s just a thought…God Bless!