Friday, Dec. 2 – Joseph Laurent

2 Dec

Week 1: Hope
Today’s Scripture:
Joel 2:1-20
Luke 21:5-19

In this Advent season, it is appropriate to look toward scripture with a longing for hope. As our culture is increasingly riddled with mundane entities rising toward leadership, deadly wars waging in the name of peace and power, and families losing focus on values only to be swallowed in fleeting pleasure, we desire for a handhold to grasp or a word on which to cling. We can find just that in Luke 21:5-19. In this passage Jesus gives his audience a verbal portal into the future, where destruction will come to all things, people will falsely claim His name, disturbances and wars will abound, and catastrophes and plagues will spread like fire. In each of these horrible foresights Jesus warns His people to remain steadfast.

Many times in my life I have been in fear and uncertainty, but I would like to share an experience that seemed to be an excellent exercise to take my focus from myself and try to learn where strength should be found. In one of my undergrad courses, I was required to spend time with some hospice care patients to discuss purpose, hope, and love. Slowly my life began to change as so many lovely people close to death wanted to open their lives to me. They splayed open their fears, their shame, and their joy but oddly most, if not all, of what they had to say was about people in their lives and their hope of salvation or a good turn of events on the lives of their loved ones. The one lady I became closest to had a muscle deteriorating disease leaving her voiceless and, in the worldly sense of the word, “hopeless.” On the contrary she held in her grasp more hope than was feasible for my young mind to grasp. She confidently proclaimed that she was completely ready to die because she had comfort in Jesus and felt as though her purpose had been completely played out. I explained to her that God was still using her testimony as a catalyst for change in my life and would continue to change people as I shared her story. With tears in her eyes she silently thanked me for continuing God’s work through her story. Even at her very end her peace in her hope of God’s fulfillment of promises was inspiring and uplifting.

Our God has lain out specific instruction and promises in order that hope would abound so endurance would be plentiful. He warns of destruction and asks for endurance and through endurance we will gain life! The wonderful lady in hospice found life at the point of death, realizing that it was through her hope in Jesus’ return that she had been living all along.

-JL

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4 Responses to “Friday, Dec. 2 – Joseph Laurent”

  1. Daniel Thomas December 2, 2011 at 7:38 am #

    wow. this is the Word that I needed today. thank you for your faithfulness, Joseph.

  2. Seth Stevens December 2, 2011 at 7:39 am #

    Your words are very encouraging. Thanks for that story and lesson.

  3. Annie Freeman December 2, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    Joseph, Thanks for your transparency in sharing your experience.

    Annie

  4. Matt Renfer December 4, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    It never ceases to amaze that the faithful can, as you put it, find “life at the point of death”–that in spite of dire circumstances, fear gives way and an unfailing hope radiates still. Thanks for sharing this experience with us.

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