In HOPE

  In HOPE 8.36

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David Timms  

 


Prayer for Today

Father, the heartache and tears I see threaten to overwhelm me. The needs are too great around me. My own strength is insufficient within me. My own stress and pain produce panic. What have I to give? What use can I be? What difference can I make? But just as Jesus reached out to the lonely, the hurt, the marginalized, the broken, and the despairing so I am willing to follow Him into such places. Grant me the strength to sink into the humanity whom You love so deeply. Remove my cataracts to see You among "the least of these." Amen.

Hope Happenings

Fall Preview Day at Hope International University happens on Monday, November 10th.  This day is dedicated to High School juniors and seniors, transfer students, and parents who want to "check out" Hope. It's a day jam-packed with activities that include a campus tour, a college class, lunch in the cafeteria, time with professors, and more! Know someone for whom this would be helpful? Get more information at www.hiu.edu.

Hope International University
Fullerton  CA  92831

 

"A son of God is not someone who is related to God by rising out of his humanity, but someone who is beloved by God for sinking into it even when he is famished, even when he is taunted by the devil himself. It is someone who can listen to every good reason in the world for becoming God's rival and remain God's child instead."
-- Barbara Brown Taylor, Bread of Angels, 39-40.

 


Sinking into Humanity

Well-meaning evangelists tell us that "coming to Christ" will lift us out of our predicaments, improve our circumstances, and raise us above the risks of life. "God has a great plan for your life, to prosper you."

 

And our spiritual cataracts keep us from seeing the truth.

 

The life of the kingdom is not found in mystical euphoria or heightened prosperity. To become like Christ does not mean absconding from the pain and suffering of the world, but entering fully into it. We want exultation without humiliation and resurrection without death. We pray for angelic choirs not demonic tormentors. Our hearts want to "fly away" not remain shackled to the oppression and violence of this world.

 

But the sons and daughters of God - those who understand their Father's heart - continue to sink into humanity; not to be overcome by it but to minister to it.

 

At times we're tempted to become God's rival, critical that He doesn't impose the equivalent of spiritual "martial law" on a world gone mad. We're confident that we know what's best, if He'd just listen to us and put some of that omnipotence to work. We assume, for just a moment, that He doesn't see or doesn't care.

 

But, strangely, He calls us not to fix humanity but to sink into it.

 

Jesus did not sprinkle fairy-dust from a crop-duster to magically cure the nameless masses. Instead, He became like us, walked among us, suffered with us, and pointed the way for us. When we face heartache and hardship, we have opportunity to bear witness to our ultimate confidence in the Father.

 

We share in the fellowship of Christ's suffering (Philippians 3:10). We fix our eyes on the One who endured the cross and its hostility (Hebrews 12:2-3). We embrace our suffering as steps towards eternal glory (1 Peter 5:10).

 

None of this comes naturally or easily. In the flesh we want to escape the corruption of humanity; the pain and sorrow, the bumps and bruises. But as we look to Jesus, He invites us not to flee but to follow. And the path leads into the tasteless darkness where we might become salt and light.

 

The children of God do not abandon the brokenness of the world but reach into it, to share the suffering and impart amazing grace.

In HOPE --

David

 

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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2008) at http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.