Tuesday, September 25, 2012

An Enduring Hope

Autumn colors
“Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of maturity; but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance. What man can stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see the span of his world and the meaning of the rolling hills that reach to the far horizon?”~Hal Borland, author

The air is cool and crisp, reliably so for this time of year. Fall is my favorite season. I look forward to simmering pots of vegetable beef soup and chili, bonfires, and leaves crunching under my feet when I go for an evening walk. I enjoy the respite of nature amidst hectic times. 
Life never seems to slow down or reach an even keel, does it? 
This week has been no exception as I continue to adjust to my son Josh being an official firefighter. We’ve accepted the fact our life is dictated by a pager that goes off at will. As a trainee for the last two years, he could not enter a burning building or work interstate wrecks. That has changed now.
Sunday night the call was for interstate traffic fatalities. Josh has worked many traffic accidents, including fatalities, but interstate accidents are a whole different ballgame. Not exactly what I want my teenage son to see, but this is the vocation he’s chosen. So I laid awake, stared at the ceiling, prayed for the injured, the families of those who’d passed, and for the emergency responders who somehow have to separate their own feelings from the chaos they’re thrust into. 
Eventually…maybe…I’ll settle into the reality of Josh's 24/7 calling. 
Meanwhile, a major annoyance is our Presidential election. Can’t it be over already? 
This week I was challenged to defend how I plan to vote in the upcoming election by someone who plans to vote for the opposing candidate. Frankly, I was dumbfounded by the audacity of such a blatant approach. Last time I checked, this is still America. I’ve said before on this blog, each person in our country gets one vote. None of us have to justify or defend how we’ll cast it, even when “friends” call us hypocrites or attack us. Ultimately, it is fear that drives such behavior.
But this made me think of our role as Christians and how we defend our faith. The Apostle Peter admonished us to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have.” 
He went on to say, “But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” (1 Peter 3:15-17)
We have to remember as Christians, we don’t have to justify our godly choices, our voting record, or life principles derived from the Scriptures. Sometimes I think we get too hung up on trying to do so. Non-Christians are never going to understand our choices or belief system. It’s a mystery that can only be unlocked by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
Our energy could be better spent sharing the reason for the hope we have in Christ Jesus. Hope that sustains despite whatever challenge we face. Hope that endures regardless of election results. Hope that restores and brings the promise of eternal life. 
Will you share that hope with someone today?
Our worship song this week is “My Hope Is In You,” by Aaron Shust. I wrestled with whether or not to share this particular video, but as I searched through YouTube and Christian artists, this is the one the Lord led me to. Though heart-wrenching, it fits incredibly well with what I’ve written.

Do you have a prayer need? I’d love to pray for you. Please share it in the comments section so others can pray, as well. If you have a confidential request, please email me. Our permanent prayer list is above, as well as updates on soldier Jesse McCart. 
If you didn’t see the praise report on Courtney last Thursday, you may click here to read. Her two-month follow-up MRI showed no sign of the cancerous brain tumor she has been battling for the past year. Her oncologist plans to continue chemo and the follow-up MRIs for the next year. What a tremendous answer to prayer!
Also, we prayed for Patti last week as she prepared to receive news about possible lung or breast cancer. The doctor does not think the area is cancerous, so this will be watched and rescanned in the future. Another answer to prayer!
If you have a praise report, I’d love to hear it.
God bless,
 © Laura Hodges Poole


  1. Laura,
    Worthy post...love your encouragement about being willing to give a reason for the hope that is within us..we need to be winsome christians in a lost world without hope...but for Jesus. I'd rather leave the politics today and praise Jesus instead. Your video was such a complement to your post. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Glenda. I'm glad you were encouraged. It's always good to hear from you. God bless.

  2. Great post, thanks for sharing your life with us.

    I used to work as an ER nurse in one of the biggest ER's in the state- it does change your life. You can tell the emergency personnel who know God from the one's who don't. I'll be praying for your son, we need Godly men and women serving our communities.

    As for the election...I'm ready for it to be over and I LOVE politics, but not this year. This year I'm simply falling to my knees in prayer. Sept 28 is the start of 40 Days of Prayer leading up to the election on Nov 6. God help us.
    Great scriptures!

    1. You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate the reminder on the 40 days of prayer. Anyone else who wants to join in prayer, check out TC's blog @ tcavey.blogspot.com.

  3. Thanks for writing such an encouraging post.

  4. Just wanted to let you know I nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award in my latest blog post at http://www.patsydyer.com. Your turn to pass it on!

  5. Laura,

    It sounds like you are savoring autumn's colors and temps, along with harvest stews also! Me too. :)

    Wow, I can't imagine what it would be like to have a son as a firefighter. May he be safe this week, this month!

    Nice to talk with you again,
    Jennifer Dougan