Saturday, Dec. 3 – Joanna Holloman

3 Dec

Week 1: Hope
Today’s Scripture:
Joel 2:21-32
Matthew 20:18-28

We’ve all heard the phrase “when it rains, it pours”. In most situations, our life isn’t really as bad as we may think. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that we may be dredging through a crappy time. I’ve experienced a few times in my life where it seems like things are continuously going wrong and I become fearful of what could be next. Some of these times have been laughable moments later in life while others still bring heartache to recall.

One such time – more of the laughable sort – occurred when I was living in Chicago a few years ago. I was in a program similar to Broad River’s CDH (Community Discipleship Home) and lived with four other girls in an apartment. While l was lying in bed one night, I heard the scurrying of feet that seemed to be coming from inside the wall. The next morning, some of our bread had been eaten and sure enough, we had a serious rat problem.

In addition to the rats, our gas was turned off that week due to a billing mix up. That meant no heat and no hot water – in the bitter cold of Chicago! We called the company to clear things up and set a time for them to turn the gas back on. The first day I stayed home from work, the company didn’t show. The second day, the director of our program sat outside to wait for them, but still, no one showed. On the third attempt, I finally got a call from the gas company saying that they were downstairs. As I ran to let them in, I almost tripped over a rat and then saw another one run into our toaster and get stuck! The cat that we borrowed from our pastor to help with the rat situation saw what was going on and ran under the bed to hide. Sometimes it seems like one bad thing happens after another and there is that moment when it all collides.

Much to my downfall, I typically would rather be like the cat and hide from my problems. When I try to face them, I then tend to bask in self pity and loneliness thinking that things seem “too tough” to handle. However, in the midst of frustrations and turmoil, I am comforted by God’s promise that we don’t need to be afraid because he is with us. In Joel 2, it says “Do not be afraid, be glad and rejoice. Surely the Lord has done great things…rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful”. As we reflect on Christ this season and the hope that he brings, I am reminded that hope is not merely wishful thinking of a better day – it is confidence that we can face anything with Christ in our lives. We can have hope because God is who he says he is and he will do what he says he will do. I encourage you to face your problems with hope and confidence because we have a faithful God on our side who cannot be overcome!

-JH

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3 Responses to “Saturday, Dec. 3 – Joanna Holloman”

  1. Matt Renfer December 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    The last paragraph is such an encouragement, and speaks volumes for me as I confront a turbulent past with Christ by my side for the first time. Thank you for illuminating with your words.

  2. Seth Stevens December 5, 2011 at 7:07 am #

    Very good stuff!

  3. Annie Freeman December 6, 2011 at 8:32 am #

    Thank you Joanna! This resonates with my heart and mind!

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