After Christmas, when your life returns to normal, you will tell others stories of the holiday season.
Stories of family, food, and friends. Stories of gifts: both given and received. Stories of the goodness of life.
Stories of hope.
Better Stories Find Their Beginnings in Hope
Hope keeps us moving forward. Hope helps us to dream for something bigger. Something better than what we see and know. Hope helps us take that first step, which can be so, so hard.
Hope answers the question of “Why?” when all seems hopeless.
If you have ever reached a place in your life when you lost your sense of hope, then you know what I am talking about. Life, much less living a better story, becomes impossible. Obstacles are transformed from dirt mounds to the Himalayas. Cold. Menacing. Dangerous.
Hope is that first ray of sunshine that makes its way through the clouds when it seems the storm will destroy everything.
Hope gives us life.
And when we are filled with hope, our hearts become filled with dreams, long for something more.
Perhaps the greatest gift any of us could ever receive is hope.
When all of the presents are opened and the “moment” of Christmas is gone, hope remains.
When the last toy is finally set loose from its cardboard cage, hope remains.
When the final goodbye is said and precious loved ones return to their homes, hope remains.
When the darkness of night falls, the last light of day disappearing beyond the horizon, hope remains.
This gift of hope is what makes the Christmas story so amazing and so powerful.
Receiving the Gift of Hope
Jesus gives us hope.
The hope for forgiveness.
The hope for all that is wrong in this world to be redeemed. To be made new.
The hope for our tears to be wiped away.
The hope for seeing God’s kingdom made manifest in our lives.
The hope for us to know him and to love him and to be with him.
The hope for life.
The hope that even in the middle of the darkness and pain of life, light will shine.
Giving the Gift of Hope
One of the most powerful things we can ever do in life is give hope to others. (Tweet that.)
We give others hope when we show up and listen.
We give others hope when we clothe and feed them.
We give others hope when we cry with them.
We give others hope when we smile.
When we live better stories, we give others the hope that they can do the same.
Whatever you choose to celebrate, whatever you choose to believe about the man known as Jesus, my prayer is that you will be filled with hope.
And that you will share hope with others.
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