Advent Devotional – December 9

A greater hope

Have you ever felt an overwhelming loss of hope?

Everyone needs hope to keep on living. A faithful Christian, my father-in-law at almost 91 seemed to lose hope for living. He had worked hard as a Kansas farmer until he retired and then became a welder at a local machine shop until age 79. In 2005, he became a widower lived at home alone until he started eating poorly, forgetting to take his medicine, and becoming light-headed sometimes. Then he moved into a local retirement home. Even though two sons, their families and a daughter lived nearby and visited regularly, still he sought to die, even asking his doctor if there was some medicine to help him go. He seemed to be in anguish, giving up all hope.

On our last visit, I tried to convince him with scripture, prayer and encouraging words that life on earth still had meaning, that we wanted him to be around for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren yet to be born. Maybe his hope changed from earthly to heavenly and became so urgent that he longed for a greater hope — to be with God.

If you or I start to lose earthly hope, let us be guided by the hymn below and by Christ’s promise to us in Matt. 28:20: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus Christ promises to be our constant companion in this life and beyond.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home.

During these days of Advent and beyond, O Lord Jesus, be our hope in all situations, as you shepherd us through this life and toward our eternal home. Amen.

by Linda Voelker



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