Mary walked out of the doctor’s office and just stood there a moment. The sky was blue, the sun was shining brightly and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. She smiled as she listened to the birds chirping in the trees in the park across the street. It was such a beautiful day and after all, she did have the rest of the day off—so she decided to walk across the street to the park and enjoy the beautiful day. Mary sat on a bench underneath a big oak tree. She didn’t realize, but she had a smile that radiated a look of wonder and pure joy on her face. Denise, another patient from the same doctor’s office sure noticed as she sat down beside her.
Denise had just received some bad news; her test results were in and the doctor said that the cancer had spread. He gave her 6 to 8 months at the most. She had been receiving radiation treatments on and off for the past few years and just could not beat the cancer. It look like it won and she felt as if the wind had just been knocked out of her. She knew she would have to face it one day but until today it never seemed real. Denise knew Mary had been receiving the same treatments and wondered how she could look so peaceful and full of joy. Denise just did not understand; how could she be so happy? It really bothered her so she had to ask.
The two women just sat there a while before Denise finally spoke up, “I saw you at the doctor’s office today; how did your visit go?” Mary, taking her eyes off the birds in the tree that seemed to have captured her thoughts said, “About the same. I have to keep going through radiation but the outlook does not look good. He is going to take some more tests next week. I had a mastectomy last year and it looks like it is back and has spread. I guess I will know one way or another in the next week or two if before long I will be making my journey home soon.”
Denise, still in a lot of confusion asked, “Home, what do you mean and how can you look so happy and peaceful after receiving news like that? The doctor just told me that I have less than a year to live. My heart is shattered and I don’t know what I am supposed to do now.”
Mary looked at her and smiled. “My true home is in heaven. We are all here temporarily. Life is preparation for eternity in heaven. Don’t you believe in that?” Denise looked at her with tears in her eyes and said, “No I don’t. My parents always told me that life evolved and when we die that is it. I can’t imagine being here and living one day and then gone the next.”
Mary looked at Denise with a soft look of compassion and gently hugged her. She looked at her and asked “tell me which of these has the better outlook. There are 2 boys and one parent told the 1st boy that if he got good grades all year long they would go on a vacation in the summer. They would go to a place where there would be swimming, boating and fishing, all the things he loved to do. The other boy’s parents told him that he needed to get good grades, period end of story with no exceptions and he would be in trouble if he didn’t get them. The school year passed by and the 2nd boy struggled all year long with the pressure that was on him. He looked worried and not as happy as he used to be, he couldn’t wait for the year to get over with and in the end he made 2 D’s. The 1st boy went through the year, studied hard and there were a few times when he had a rough time and thought he would fail but he was not worried. He enjoyed the teachers he had this year; school actually seemed kind of fun and at the end of the year he made A’s and B’s. Which boy went through the year easier due to the hope of a wonderful summer to look forward to?” Denise looked back at her and said, “that is easy, the 1st boy.” Mary said, “You are right. That is what hope does for you. You have something to look forward to and it gives you strength and encouragement to make it through even the most difficult times. When you have hope you are happier and a lot more peaceful. So, looking back at this story which boy would you rather be?” “The first one,” Denise said.
Mary asked her, “Have you ever heard of Jesus?” Denise embarrassingly looked at Mary and said, “I have heard a little here and there but whenever I asked my parents about Him they always told me it was nonsense. They said I had to be logical and there was no way possible that anything I may have heard about Jesus was true.” Mary asked her, “Since the outlook that you have right now from the doctor’s report is very grim at best and in knowing what hope does for you, do you want to hear about Him now? Do you want to believe? Isn’t better to have something to look forward to then to have nothing at all? Isn’t it better to believe that death is just traveling through a door from one life to another rather than thinking you are hear one day and gone the next? Even if I am not right, I have hope, joy and peace instead of sadness; which one would you rather have? Denise sat there a moment. There was a long pause between them as she dwelled on everything Mary had just told her. Mary made sense and she did always seem to be happy every time she saw her at the doctor’s office. With that in mind she looked back at Mary and said, “I want to believe.”
Mary told her to sit back and listen to a story, a story about the day Hope was born. Long, long ago just as a watch has to have a creator, a watchmaker, it just does not all of a sudden appear, God created the world. God is spirit, He is love and truth. There is no flesh in Him. He wanted someone to love; just like all of us. So, He created man. Knowing that we are flesh and the flesh is weak, it causes us to be tempted, so God gave man laws to follow. Although, He knew we would never be able to follow them. Just like the 2nd boy in the story. Having rules to follow puts pressure on you and under pressure, most people do fall. The laws were only put in place to show us that we needed Him; after all everyone wants to be needed. He had a plan all along; but God is a God of covenant and there were consequences to breaking the law, consequences that would keep us from Him. He did not want that because the reason He created us in the first place was to be with Him in eternity as one family forever and ever; to be with Him in heaven. Heaven is a place where there is no sadness or death or sickness or evil, only love. God is love. The sin and evil of mankind grew but God being love, still loved us and wanted us with Him. Most people will only love when loved back. God loved us when He created us and He loves even when we sin against Him. Love cannot deny itself.
God knew He had to put His plan into action or all of mankind would end up in hell and away from Him. Since the flesh is weak and “all fall short of the glory of God” He knew He would have to work out salvation Himself. In order to take on the sentence of death that the law brought and to understand the weaknesses of the flesh God knew He had to come down in the form of a man, but He still had to be God so here is where Mary the Virgin Mother of God comes in; as told in the Old Testament from the line of David comes a Savior. The Holy Spirit visited Mary who was from the line of David and she became pregnant with Jesus. She had not been with Joseph in any way yet; so the birth of Jesus was strictly by the power of the Holy Spirit. This way Jesus was all man and all God.
It was time for her to give birth and there was no room for her at the inn so Joseph made a bed for her and the baby Jesus in a nearby manger. The stars were out in the sky and the animals were all around. Even the animals knew. An angel appeared to some shepherds keeping watch over their flocks nearby and told them of the Messiah that was about to be born. 3 kings far away even heard of His birth and they took off at once to see this awesome sight. A bright shining star led them directly to Him. They brought Him gifts of gold, incense and myrrh. The gold represents His deity and the incense and myrrh represent the sweet smelling aroma of our love and praises. The moment was there and Jesus was born. There was a bright light shining all around Him. He radiated the love and the glory of God. All who saw Him knew that this was indeed the Son of God. That night Hope and Love was born. Hope that life does not end here on earth, hope for a Savior, hope for when no one else is there to love you, help you and give you victory over every situation God is there to do just that and His love never ends. Over 2000 years ago Hope and Love was born to mankind. God came to earth to save us. Jesus suffered at the hand of mankind and was hung on a cross and died and was buried. All by the mankind He came to save. He knew we would do that to Him and did it anyway. He rose on the third day and ascended into heaven, but He left His Holy Spirit with us to dwell in all who will receive Him. His Spirit gives us His love, hope, peace, joy, strength and ability to endure all situations. All who believe in Him, receive Him as Lord and ask Him into their heart have this same hope and are given the right to be children of God.
(John 1:12) “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God.”
Mankind needed a Savior and looked in all the wrong places. God wants our love and He wants us to be with Him. He wants it freely; He does not manipulate. The Bible tells of God and His love, it tells of who God is; it is His story. Satan lies, tempts and deceives. Satan came to earth to destroy Gods beloved creation. So when Satan came down to destroy us, Jesus came down to save us. He promises us that we will live with Him in eternity forever.
(John 3:16-17) “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
God knew that in order for us to have His love and joy He needed to give it to us to live within us through His Holy Spirit.
(Romans 15:13) “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
(Galatians 2:19-20) “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
Since God is Spirit, through Jesus born into the world and after His resurrection we were able to receive His Spirit. All you have to do is believe and ask for forgiveness. We “all fall short of the glory of God,” since we are flesh and the flesh is weak and in the light of a Holy God not one of us could live up to the conditions of the law. So, we all sin; you must believe in His unselfish act of love, ask for forgiveness and receive Him; ask Him into your heart. Then you can have the same hope that I have; the hope of going home.
(I Peter 1:3-5) “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Denise had been listening so intently with tears rolling down her face. She wiped the tears from her cheeks and said, “You make it seem so clear. Especially after explaining what it really means to have hope. It is like I won’t really be dying, but moving to a new home, a better one. Tell me again how I can have this hope, how I can have this promise of a new home. Tell me how to be saved?
Mary reached over with overwhelming joy at the prospect of having a new sister in Christ and hugged her! She told her,
(Romans 10:9-10) “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
Denise prayed with Mary and the light of God’s love and joy filled her heart and her face. She glowed with the love of God. She finally understood the peace that Mary had because she had it too. She also had the same hope. Today Hope was born in Denise’s heart. She may have only 6-8 months here on earth but she now knew she had an eternity in heaven to look forward too.
This is one of the short stories you can find in my book: The Day Hope was Born: God’s Gift of Love.
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