Just having come through the Christmas season filled with hope for all, there still are those whom God places in our paths daily who struggle to find hope.
As I looked at the woman checking me out of a hotel recently, I sensed something was not right. She had a blank stare and seemed to be carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. I asked how she was doing, and the tears began to flow. She has two children, marital problems, and is lonely living in a new community. She desperately is looking for hope.
Here was yet another invitation from the Father to "stop the parade" and minister. I gently shared with her the hope that I had found in Christ Jesus. She listened and her voice softened as I shared about Christ's love. Finally she said, "I haven't been to church for awhile, because I work on Sundays and Mass is in the morning."
I indicated there was a church close to her which had "services" on Sunday evening. Her face lit up, she smiled and asked for the address. I pray she will follow through, but just in case, I called a friend and shared the need. My friend took her information for follow-up.
All around us are people who are hopeless, and we have the hope of Christ to share. The power of Christ - not political, social or economic solutions - is the only thing that can bring about eternal change.
The French philosopher Albert Camus said, "When there is no hope, one must invent hope." I thought about hope and the coldness of that statement in relation to our world. As Christians, we should live our faith openly, thereby showing our hope in Jesus.
More than anything, my prayer is for California Southern Baptists to remember our instructions to be Christ's witnesses. I find that often we are witnesses of just about everything except the Christ who brings real transformation. In 2008 I urge us to continue telling the story of Jesus so that every man and woman, boy and girl will hear the message of hope and find Christ as their true hope in life, here and eternally.