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A Glimmer of Hope
There is an old saying, “every cloud has its silver lining.” We often use it as encouragement to look for good in a bad situation, the rose among the thorns. However, for many of us, the rose can be hard to find.
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with National Geographic documentaries on Disney+. Specifically, one called Drain the Oceans. In each episode they look at shipwrecks, plane crashes, and other mysteries buried at sea all across the globe. One of the most fascinating things about the show is the stories of how, at a moment’s notice, the current of the sea changes and causes immense damage and destruction.
I don’t know about you, but for me the world feels a lot like rough ocean. It’s changing drastically at a moment’s notice and we are drowning in a sea of bad news. Everywhere we look it is one tragedy after another. News causing fear, anxiety, sadness, and uncertainty. I can’t help but wonder if this is how the woman in Mark 5 felt:
And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.
For some of you, this story resonates all too well. Going from doctor to doctor to find out what’s wrong with little hope of healing. For twelve years this woman was tossed in the current with little hope of rescue. However, as the story continues, this woman hears reports of Jesus being near. A glimmer of hope. As Jesus passes by, she grabs his cloak, believing she will be healed. The story ends beautifully by Jesus telling her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your disease.” This woman was drowning, and Jesus rescued her. In a moment of hopelessness, He brought hope. He brought healing. In one moment, there was a rose among twelve years of thorns.
This woman was drowning, and Jesus rescued her. In a moment of hopelessness, He brought hope.
As I reflect on this woman’s story, I can’t help but be in awe of her faith. I think of all the times I missed being in the presence of Jesus because I was too caught up in my own clouds or thorns. The moments where Jesus was so close. All I needed to do was reach out and touch him. And I didn’t. I was too focused on myself to see what really mattered.
I think of all the times I missed being in the presence of Jesus because I was too caught up in my own clouds or thorns.
It is easy to get lost in a vast ocean of bad news. A few days ago, I was aimlessly scrolling through Facebook and it seemed as if every post I passed was something negative. About to give up on finding anything not depressing, I stopped at a post of a news story shared by one of my friends. A rose among the Facebook thorns.
Janssen Lemley, a member of Woodside’s Royal Oak Campus, shared the link to a Channel 4 news story. You see, Janssen and his fiancé, Carol, planned a big wedding with all their family and friends that had to be postponed due to our nation’s social distancing restrictions. However, the two made other plans. What Janssen called, “the wedding we had never planned” turned out to be the wedding of their dreams.
For so many, postponing a dream wedding is a serious letdown. But for Janssen and Carol it was a moment to focus on their love. She told me, “I joke with him that my dream wedding would be to marry him in a National Park in front of the people we love and that’s exactly what our wedding day turned out to be with the exception of it being a city park. The day was simple and intimate. It wasn’t focused on all the extras that come with a wedding. The focus was on our love and desire to build a life together.”
I love their story for so many reasons. It’s a beautiful reminder to focus on what really matters. For Janssen and Carol, it was standing before God, expressing their love, and beginning their lives together. Even if it wasn’t as they originally planned. For the woman in Mark 5, it was running to Jesus. She believed he would heal her. And even if he didn’t, she still knew the importance of being in His presence.
When we continue to focus on all the bad news surrounding us, we miss out on the silver linings, the glimmers of hope, the roses among thorns. We miss out on being in the presence of Jesus. As we navigate through rough waters, we must never lose sight of what matters the most: Jesus.