Here’s a little excerpt from my chapter on Hope.
“And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me…” Paul McCartney and John Lennon. As the story goes, Paul McCartney’s late mother, Mary McCartney, came to Paul in a dream while he was going through a difficult period in his life. During her visit, she imparted to him a wisdom which advised him to let things go their course. Thus, Paul found his hope that all suffering is temporary, and life would get better.
One of our greatest teachings about hope can come from the Book of Ezekiel. The story depicts a prophet who rose out of the desperation of Israel, after the occupation and the Babylonian deportations. Ezekiel brought a level of hope, a new hope, which had been unimaginable to a people so lost. But let us examine who Ezekiel really was, including the good, the bad, and the ugly: a priest; a contemporary of the prophet Jeremiah; a survivor of the invasion of Jerusalem by the Babylonians; a politically displaced person; a man who experienced both physical and spiritual exile; an open minded soul devoted to God; a bold character; and a human, with all of the struggles of duality which go along with our lives as embodied creations of God. Ezekiel was just like you, and me.
The holy city of Jerusalem had been overthrown and occupied by the Babylonians, and God charged Ezekiel with the task of restoring the bond between God and His people. Read all of Ezekiel 37, but especially verses 5-8: “Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: and I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord. So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above…” (Ezekiel 37:5-8). Consider the faith, and the measure of hope, which was required for Ezekiel to understand this holy calling and persevere with his mission.
Hope is our unbreakable connection to God, and it represents our sacred innocence. It is one of our most precious, divine gifts. Hold on tight to it, preserve it, protect it. Do not ever relinquish it to the enemy. Never let go of hope.
Today’s prayer of intention: “I await You, my God. I know You will come. I know You never leave me. Nothing can separate me from You. In my seasons of distress, stay with me. In my times of trouble, support me. On my cold and dark days, shine a light for me. Help me to always see You, feel You, and abide in Your love. Each day, remind me that, for me, You have only thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give me an expected end. Let me live each day in Your promises, as I carry Your message of hope. Amen.”
Advance sales, for paperback copies of Pray Without Ceasing are available now through release, for $10.00. Click here to order your copy.