Dec 13, 2012

Luke 2:36-38 What Does Hope Look Like?

Luke 2:36-38 "Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity;  and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.  And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem." (NKJV)
After four years of daily surrendering my heart to God, I still find myself hungry for His Word. Perhaps this is because through Scripture, God continues to speak to me so personally. Each day, God guides me and comforts me. Through His Word, I find peace and hope. 
Recently, God offered me encouragement through a story about a widow named Anna. Through her story, I was reminded of what hope really looks like.

I had been feeling less optimistic about my marriage. My husband I were once again experiencing rocky ground. As a result, I had been praying for God to lift my spirits. One day, I picked up my bible and began to read a little further into the second chapter of Luke. I read about a woman named Anna. According to Scripture, Anna was a pious and devout believer in God. She was a widow and was very old. Yet, she spent every day in the temple worshiping and praying to God. One day in her old age, Anna personally met God in the form of the Christ child. Wow!

Having been raised in a large Catholic church, I could easily picture this story in my mind. For a moment, I closed my eyes and drifted back to those earlier memories of my childhood. Back then, on days when my sister and I would arrive early for mass, I often noticed at least one elderly woman kneeling in a pew, holding her rosery and praying to God.  I wondered if this situation was similar to the story of Anna, the woman who never left the temple but worshiped night and day.

Instantly, I began to ponder. "Had Anna been praying to see the face of God? Or perhaps she was in need of encouragement too." Instantly, my heart started to warm with the hope of meeting Jesus Christ in person one day. I took a deep breath and began to pray. "Lord, thank You for encouraging me to never stop eagerly placing my hope in You. I know that You are always by my side, waiting to console me through the trials in life. I can't wait to meet You in person one day. Please come quickly Lord Jesus. And until that time, I will try to be more like Anna who never stopped praying and who placed her hope soley in You. In Your Holy Name. Amen."
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