Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark. ~George Iles
I don’t remember where I came across this quote; but ever since I discovered it, I wrote it down in a collection of quotes and stories I keep. I don’t know much about George Iles, just that he authored a few articles and books. He was a man of science as well, but his quote captured me since I came across it. When I read it, I have this image of me stumbling through my house in the dark. My hands held out in hopes of finding something familiar in front of me to give me a sense of location. We hold our hands out sometimes for safety so we don’t find a wall accidentally. But with my hands held out, I continue to move through the house because I have a bit more confidence I can make my way in the dark.
The darkness and disappointment of this world too often engulfs us. It would be easy to leave our hands at our sides and stop moving forward. And yet, those with hope, stretch out their hands confident that though darkness is around, darkness is not the final word. Those who refuse to let darkness win are those who hold out their hands confident their hand will find safety and location. As people of faith, we hold out our hands confident we are not alone in the dim world. We know our hands won’t be empty but embraced by eternal hands. So no matter the circumstance, no matter how dark, we stretch out our hands because we know God will take them and lead us through.
Friends, our congregation has gone through a great deal over the summer. From many families losing loved ones, to difficult situations, to now a major accident involving one of our beloved young adults. We have felt the cover of darkness fall all too quickly and heavily. And yet we still reach out and reach up. We need God to grab our hands and lead us through the dark.
With this in mind, I want to invite you this Sunday to hold out your hands in hope. Rather than continuing in our scheduled sermon series, we will be having a service of Prayer and Healing. The focus of the service will be to seek God’s healing presence. Many among us are in need of it. I feel it best that we pause and give space for God to work. I hope you can join us as we place our hope in God. After all, light shines in the darkness and darkness will not overcome it.
Nathan Kilbourne, Senior Pastor