Last week in church I got really distracted during worship, it was all the people looking for seats. I couldn’t focus. So I decided to go sit in the balcony. I don’s sit up there, but a woman came and sat next to me and she immediately started crying as the pastor began reading scripture.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
We have been talking about hope and how hope isn’t just a wish, but a person, Jesus. When I think of a wish, I often think of a birthday wish. Something you are told to make, but not tell anyone, or it won’t come true. I think of my son, and how he loves to help everyone blow out their candles, but wishes those candles were for him.
Then there are other wishes. Maybe you wish that there won’t be a lot of traffic when you are driving home from work, or delays at the airport as you are trying to get home from a long trip.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
But our pastor has been talking about how hope isn’t a mere wish, but a confidence in God, and who He is, and as the pastor continues his message, she cries through most of the service.
I felt like God wanted me to pray for her. I asked Him to show me what to pray for because I wanted to be able to encourage her.
And He gave me a picture of a birthday cake. And the cake had a candle on it. I asked if I could pray for her at the end of service and she tearfully said yes. And I believe that what He showed me for her, maybe someone else needs to hear.
And hope does not disappoint…
Daughter, as I am praying for you I see a birthday cake. And there is a lit birthday candle on it. Now usually when it is your birthday, people sing you happy birthday, they celebrate you, and they tell you to make a wish before you blow out the candle. You are also told not to tell anyone what your wish is, or else it won’t come true. And when you blow out the candles, your friends and family clap in excitement.
But maybe, you feel forgotten. Like your wish hasn’t come true. And no one has heard your cry, your wish, your prayer. Maybe your birthday was even forgotten, and maybe you have forgotten some of those birthday wishes, or some of those prayers that you prayed in confidence of who God is.
No, hope isn’t like this birthday wish. And God isn’t like a father who tells you not to share your wish or it will not come true. Because He hears your prayers, your wishes, the deepest desires of your heart. You don’t have to say them out loud as you say them, because He hears them, He knows them. And Jesus is like the candle on the birthday cake. The reminder that He is the light of the world.
And when you pray, in the name of the Light of the world, He remembers you. He celebrates with you. He sings over you. And He knows the deepest prayers that you don’t tell anyone about.
No, daughter, you are not forgotten. You are loved. Loved so much that God sent His only Son, Jesus, to come and be a light in this dark world, so that you can know His love. He has not forgotten you, He knows the desires of your heart. When you pray, He hears you. And like a good Father, He knows what is best for you.
So my hope for you is that you walk through this Christmas season, knowing that He hears you. That you have confidence in your good Father, who knows the deepest desires of your heart. That you walk through this Christmas season, not with birthday wishes, but deepest hope in Jesus. Knowing that He is good, and He is for you, and not against you. That He will fight for you, and defend you. And He will make His face to shine upon your and be graciously unto you.
He loves you, He will never leave you, He will always be beside you. This season, remember. Remember, He is good. that He hears every cry of your heart, even the ones you can not put into words. Most importantly, He made the greatest act of sacrifice when He sent Jesus to earth, to be born, die, and rise again from the dead, so you can know His everlasting love. The greatest gift you could ever be given.
Keep believing, keep hoping, keep knowing He is God.