Returning from Lake Havasu recently, we passed through the town of HOPE. Like many other “towns” in Arizona, it has small, minute enclaves of folk; so small that, if you blinked, you missed their existence. Some of the farms we passed were larger than the town itself.
We stopped to admire the church building and then proceeded on our journey. A few hundred yards later, we observed a sign that read: “You are now beyond Hope!” The humorous intended double-meaning caught the eye and demanded mulling over.
I can remember as a child using that expression concerning another individual. While a few years of maturity caused me to avoid such utterances, I have to admit that some individuals seem to pose more of a challenge than others. Probably, some feel that way about me.
People, “beyond hope”, too numerous to calculate, have crossed all of our paths. Some have had alcohol problems, sex problems, greed problems, financial problems, ego problems, (the list is endless). After extended efforts to assist them in their plight, we feel like throwing up our hands in disgust or frustration. Thankfully, God does not do that with us!
Ann was such a girl! Her life was a mess. Inevitably, it led to AIDS. It was in that situation that she finally dedicated her life to the Lord. She then wrote a booklet about her hopelessness until she found Christ. In that booklet, which was sent to me following her death, she wrote a personal note concerning her journey and her contemplation of seeing Christ, now that she was forgiven. My own personal conclusion was that God, seeing the hopelessness of Ann’s humanness, put His arms around her and said: “Ann! You cannot deal with things down there. I will just take you Home.” He did!
There is never a time in this journey through life that we are “beyond hope”. While it may have that appearance to our humanness, there is ever the comforting thought of the thief on the cross crying out for forgiveness. We must never lose sight of Christ’s response: “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Then again, there is the truth of 2 Corinthians 6:2… “for He said, ‘At the acceptable time I listened to you, and, on the day of Salvation, I helped you.’ Behold, now is ‘the acceptable time,’ behold, now is ‘the day of salvation’-”
You are not beyond hope. Today; call upon Jesus for your Salvation!