Advent 2012: Setting Captives Free
…from hopelessness to hope in Christ
“I give up!” Jim shouted, slamming the door behind him. As he collapsed behind the wheel of his rusted out hatchback, the hopeless reality of his situation began to overwhelm him in uncontrollable waves of sobbing. Out-of-control debt was leading him into bankruptcy, the porn into divorce court, and his rage was leading him to an early grave. It all seemed so hopeless.
He thought about driving to the liquor store, or better yet, driving right through it, crashing the giant plate glass window smugly advertising the happy couple drinking martinis in front of their Christmas tree. But, instead he drove past it. He also drove past the Walmart swarming with happy shoppers and the church full of happy worshipers.
After about an hour, his car pulled off the highway and onto the gravel road leading up to an old barn. He parked the car and turned off the ignition. The engine sputtered and knocked loudly, as if overacting a death scene. The unlatched barn door slammed open and shut in the winter wind, waving him inside. As he entered the dark barn, the familiar smell of hay and manure greeted him. He closed his eyes and breathed in deeply. As he ascended a wooden ladder into the hay loft, he felt a spider web cling to his face. He quickly wiped it away with his shirt sleeve and made his way over to the corner of the loft where he settled down on a stack of hay bales.
Why was he here? What made him come back to this barn? Why did he come here, instead of the farmhouse where his aging parents sat alone hypnotized by the television? As he contemplated these questions, a full moon peered through the loft door and he noticed a spider weaving a new web.
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11
Advent Application: Just as Jim was dealing with the hopelessness of his life, he had the opportunity to witness the determination and hope found in a spider starting anew, as opposed to giving up. Jesus came into our world to give us hope. Our world can seem dark and hopeless, but Christ offers us hope for a future, if we are willing to walk into it, one step at a time. What are you experiencing that seems hopeless? Can you, like the Psalmist, put your hope in your Savior, even while wrestling with a downcast soul? Can you, like the spider, have the determination to start anew? Write one sentence that describes how Christ might bring you hope in spite of your seemingly hopeless situation.