But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
–Psalm 39:7 NIV
Discipline your children while you still have the chance (while there is hope);
indulging them destroys them.
–Proverbs 19:18 MSG
Without a source of income and no freedom to search for a job under the conditions of their lockdown, this family has chosen to trust rather than panic. After praying as a family, the father prayed over his wife and kids. “The highlight of the night was when [Frank], with tears and deep love, said, “I thank God for each one of you. I feel I am the richest man in the world because I have all of you.” Imagine how his wife and kids felt in that moment? How would you feel if someone spoke such a blessing over you? Who could you speak such a blessing over?
After Frank’s prayer and blessing over his family, attention turned to the relational conflict between the daughters, which had been straining the family for some time. “Mom, last night, as we prayed, [my sister and I] decided to stop fighting and be best friends.” My friend wept for joy to see God’s restorative work in the midst of such turmoil and pain.
Listening to this family’s story instructs me in meaningful ways. In a time when there should be more conflict, rampant fear, ugly words about how they’ve been wronged, this little family instead pours out love and grace to each other and desires it for those who hurt them. Knowing they will not be able to go back to the church they helped plant years before, they think instead of ways they can bless the leaders as they depart.
Lives focused on more than favorable outcomes provide a deep sense of stability for a family. Not only does it provide a sense of calm in times of peace, it’s also defining amid life’s inevitable turmoil.
ACTION: Where have you felt hope’s stabilizing effect in your life? What were the conditions that might have contributed to that effect? What else might be stirring in you as you ponder this story in light of hope? Take some time to write out your thoughts.