I’ve often written that if I could put a message on a billboard, it would be one word: “hope.” So many people need to know that there is hope, that it’s not some distant cliche, but something to grasp onto to help them get through one more day.

I know I needed that when I was thirteen and asking God if he was real. I needed it when I was in a mental hospital at twenty-two, wondering where in the world I would go from there in life. I needed it again at thirty-two when I found myself out of gas on the side of the road during a very difficult season.

What does hope look like in action? I think it can take different forms. It can be the psych ward doctor telling me that it's ok to be a late bloomer in life. It could be the young lady who gave me a ride that day. It can feel like the Holy Spirit filling my heart with comfort and peace as he showed me, “yes, I am real. And I’m right here with you.”

Throughout my childhood, I read the verse above in the King James Version: “let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” That’s a good version, and it’s true. If you’re redeemed, just say so. But often I find that the “telling the story” part is so much richer than just saying, “yes, it’s true.” The story is the evidence that it is true.

I am exploring the subject of tears in the Bible right now. Even as I explore my own experience with tears, I find that the subject is not depressing for me. Rather, it rings of hope. Because beyond the tears at birth, tears in a bottle, and tears on the cross, there is joy on the other side. And hope. So much hope.

Now that I think of it, maybe I don’t need a billboard. With Christ in me as I write and live out my story, maybe, just maybe, my life can be that billboard, pointing to him, the living hope.

Dear Father, thank you for hope. Solid, tangible hope in Jesus Christ. Help me be that living billboard every day, to those around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Throughout this day: What is some evidence of hope in your life? How can you be a living billboard?

Here is an article about finding good in this difficult world: https://thelife.com/quest-for-a-beautiful-mind

Tags: Psalm 107 Hope Holy Spirit depression Joy
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