Not too long ago I was speaking at a children’s revival at a church about an hour from my home.  I arrived late in the evening to the little house the church had provided for me to stay in during the week.  It was quite small house, not too far from the church, and it allowed me to stay nearby rather than driving back and forth from my home to the church every day. 

I had just dropped my bags o the living room loor hen all of the sudden the lights went out. I had not even been there two inute when it eemed the entire neighborhood had lost power.  No streetlights… nothing.  It was dark.  Here I was, alone in a new place with no lights.  I began to feel my way around the room looking for a light and hoping not to stumble over my luggage or any furniture.  Needless to say I felt a little uneasy alone in the dark in unknown surroundings.  I decided my best bet was to just sit down and wait it out.  I sat there a few minutes thinking, OK maybe the power will come right back on.   didn’t.  There is something unsettling about being alone in the darkness of an unfamiliar place, you begin to hear the smallest noises and without the clarity of vision, they can become frightening.  As I sat there in the living room it suddenly occurred to me to take out my phone and to use it as a flashlight.  That small amount of light made all the difference, it brought perspective to this new place and helped me feel a less uneasy.

All it took was a light.  Sometimes it is going to feel like life makes no sense--that ou are left in a foggy uncertainty sometimes feeling all alone.  Life is going to be dark and confusing or downright scary and difficult to understand at imes. 

One of the joys of being a leader or a parent is when we get to speak into the lives of our kids and remind them that ven in the dark God is in control--that God loves them and God will faithfully carry them through the darkness into s marvelous light.

Unfortunately this happens more than we would like.  Maybe someone they care about dies, they get bad news from a doctor, a parent loses a job, they get bullied at school, someone gets divorced.  Kids find themselves trying to make their way through the dark.  And all they might need is a little light.

That’s why we are taking this whole month to talk about hope.  We define hope like this: Believing something good can come out of something bad.  It’s important to make sure our kids know what to do when life throws them a curveball.  When their picture doesn’t pan out the way they think it will… to let them know that life will get messy sometimes, but no matter how confusing life seems, God still has a plan.  He is powerful enough to make something good come out of something bad. 

During this month we will be reminded of Jesus’ own words from John 16:33.  He says, “In this world you will have trouble. But be encouraged! I have won the battle over the world.”  If you want a demonstration of how God can use pain and suffering just think about the message of the gospel. The Life, Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Jesus. This is enough to give us all the hope we will ever need!! hroughout thi month we will be reminded of stories from the bible where God’s plan was able to shine through in  dark an uncertain world.

Here’s the reality we all live in: no one knows when our kids will face a dark time. Fortunately, as parents and leaders we have the opportunity to lay a foundation so that whatever happens in the lives of our kids they can have hope. They can have hope because of what Jesus said about heaven. Because God’s story is so much bigger than the small glimpse of the story we all see.  Because Jesus promised would always be with us. 

Sharing hope,
Pastor Ed