Summer 2024

Daily Devotional: Thursday, December 16 - Hope

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” — Romans 5:5

Have you ever been in a place in your life where you felt completely drained, you had no reserves left, and all strength was gone? Have you ever been in a race where you were planning for the ultimate goal to be your fastest time yet, but an injury flared up and your goal changed to just getting across the finish line in one piece?

This world threatens over and over again to dissolve our strength, to take away our resources, and to dilute our efforts. If Satan cannot stop someone from becoming a Christian, his next steps are to make us as ineffective as possible, to stop us from proclaiming Christ’s message to the world.

By the grace of God, I find myself as a medical provider in nursing homes. Yes, during COVID. I have seen not only physical distress and pain, but also the prevailing feelings of anger and helplessness — and I’m talking about the staff too!

My mind keeps coming back to the word “hope” in these places, and all it entails. Hope that COVID will end with all its restrictions, that families will be able to visit, that a patient will be able to walk again after a terrible fall and fractured hip, that a breath-robbing infection will clear from the lungs and the heart will become strong again.

We help people to become their well selves once again, and we try to take care of each other too. That includes anything from saying “hello” to the tirelessly-cleaning custodian, to welcoming a new nurse to the unit, to helping with a med pass when that nurse has a family emergency. It is especially obvious in the work of physical, occupational and speech therapists that they are professional motivators of hope through action!

So the next time you see someone, anyone, struggling to maintain their hope, make it a part of your day to be an encouragement, for whatever that person needs. Just one kind word — a compliment, a hello, a wave (because a mask can hide a smile!) — can change someone’s day, and your testimony will proclaim the Gospel through words and action. Be a vessel of hope today.

Have faith in a better future, that we will be able to cross that finish line.

Mary Nuckols

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