By Betty J. Slade | PREVIEW Columnist
My goodness. Our world needs hope. Hope comes from our faith in the Lord. We need hope to anchor our souls when changing winds blow nonsense through our lives, to keep us sound when the world is talking stupid.
Hebrews 11:3 (TPT) reads, “By the power of God’s words … He spoke and the invisible realm gave birth to all that is seen.”
God created days filled with opportunities, with hope and with purpose. He created us to walk through these days with intention even if they seem full of nonsense.
Our job is to have faith in the One who brings the invisible realm into reality. Without faith we are short-sighted and will listen to the loudest voices. Sometimes those voices come from within.
As I wrote two more chapters in my second book, my words brought reality to the page. I saw the scene, I visualized the shack, I tasted the coffee and smelled the fresh-cut flowers on the table. I felt the nettling splinters under my character’s feet as they ran from danger.
As the author of this book, I am invested, involved and interested in my characters. By faith I am writing about an ordinary country family in Pagosa who has strong godly values and work ethics. My characters want to do the right thing. I am bringing words on the page into reality, hopefully to give my readers an anchor of hope in what is right and also entertain.
If today is full of nonsense, what will tomorrow bring? Tomorrow we’ll need more faith than we do today. God has set the scene. He made the coffee beans. He knows what the coffee tastes like. He’s created the flowers for us to smell the fragrance. He’s asks us to enjoy their beauty. He knows how it feels to walk on splintered floors. He has created us for a purpose as characters in his story for this day and time.
I stood before my writers’ group and asked what words they would write to give living hope and encouragement to their readers. After all, we are people of words. We are writers. We play with words and phrases. We spend hours turning a sentence to make its meaning come alive. Faith enables us to write words and see into the realm of the invisible.
As I skimmed chapter 11 of Hebrews, faith was the substance that energized ordinary men to do incredible things. They were each created for a purpose during their time on this earth.
Faith translated Enoch from this life and took him up to heaven. Faith opened Noah’s heart to receive revelation and build an ark to save mankind. Faith motivated Abraham to obey and he became a nation. Faith inspired Joseph and opened his eyes. He saved his people from famine. Faith enabled Moses to choose God’s will to deliver his people. They were ordinary people doing great things, all because of faith.
Faith is a radical word that has the power to move, motivate and inspire men. All very lofty, but how do we make our words alive to hungry readers who are going through the same pain and hardships we all face today?
We have plowed through the last few years, challenged at every turn. We have been tested beyond our abilities, and yet the Lord has given us the faith we need to move forward with purpose and seize the opportunity of this day. Our children will need faith for their todays and tomorrows.
Final brushstroke: My prayer: “Now, my God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope.” — Romans 15:13 (TPT).
I received an e-mail from a newfound friend. She has deep roots in our community’s history. Many of you might know her. If not, I’d like to introduce Judy McDonald.
“I am a long-time reader of your column but a first-time responder to your email. What prompted me to write was a conversation with your neighbor … We discussed your recent column where you commented on your neighbor’s hard work. We then began quoting the article to each other.
“My dad, Bert Barrett, developed Lost Valley. All our family worked on the property at one time. My deceased husband, Archie McDonald, laid sewer lines, my son, Chris, ran a bulldozer, all while on vacation. Your recent article about family gatherings brought back those memories.
“I come to Pagosa in the fall for a month, staying mostly at Hatcher Lake but I take the paper year-round. … I’m 85 and just finished a huge project my city asked me to lead.
“Sometimes I ask myself, ‘Why? When so many of my friends are in so much pain and age-related issues, why am I still able to be so active?’ The answer always seems to come back, ‘Because I still have things for you to do.’
“I guess God just keeps us doing what we are supposed to do. My mantra is ‘strength for today and hope for the tomorrows to come.’
“I’m always disappointed when your article is not included in the paper. I worry you might be ill (or quit). It’s always a relief to find it the next week. Happy writing! Judy McDonald”
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Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of The SUN.
Editor’s Note: Columns are printed each week if space allows.