Thursday, December 16, 2010

Knowing God - Zechariah 9:12

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Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
today I declare that I will restore to you double.
Zechariah 9:12
 
I love the image of being "a prisoner of hope."
 
I'm captive to the one who captivates me.
 
In this passage, God admits that life will be hard. We venture out each morning like soldiers into enemy territory. But when I make my home in God, each night I can return to the cozy shelter of God's embrace. I can be held (captive) by the Lord's strong arms.
 
The Old Testament man of faith, Job, was a soldier -- a soldier, of sorts. Why do I say that? Because his entire life -- like many of our lives -- became an absolute battleground. For a long time Job was disoriented. He trusted. He believed. But he just couldn't seem to find the door of hope. He just couldn't seem to find his way back home and God's warm embrace.
 
That embrace did come. And as in our verse from Zechariah, God did restore to Job double of what he had once had. But here's an interesting bit of trivia ... only one item did God not double -- his children. His first set of kids literally died in the figurative battle.
 
So why did God double everything except Job's kids? Why? Because in God's hands, dead is not dead. Indeed, God's hands are our life's true home. It's our temporary home that we venture out of each day in order to do battle. It's our eternal home that we finally come home to at the end of our days.
 
But here's the wonder and the gift ... in the present, we can decorate our temporary home with the colors of heaven.  Hope can be the paint that colors the walls of our lives. And God's embrace at the end of each day's battle can be oh, so, very real!
 
In Christ's Love,
a guy in an orange jumpsuit
(I'm a prisoner of hope ... 
I just didn't know that
hope was orange)
--------------------------------------
This first image is what I long for. I feel Jesus' arms around me. To have him hold me while I let it all out. To have him free me from all the chains that I carry and all the lies that weigh me down. Yes - I am a prisoner ... but not of hope. And I don't know where a safe stronghold is.

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Speak gently. carefully. thoughtfully. graciously. humbly.

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