Monday, October 18, 2010

Camp Hope

Like millions of people across the globe this past week, I was completely mesmerized by the amazing and miraculous rescue of the Chilean miners. It’s common to be sucked into to the media, but most often, in our world of natural distaster and disease, terror and war, we’re watching tragedy take place. Good reports seem to be rare in the news, and when they do take place, the excitement tends to be short-lived because the next new headline is almost always another catastrophe. But this week was different. In the mountains of South America, a miracle took place, on display for the entire world to see. And in my lifetime, there is nothing that I am aware of that not only captured the attention of so many but pierced their hearts as well. I don’t know about you, but this Chilean rescue left me thinking about a lot.

One of the things that really stuck out to me was not just the faith of the miners themselves, but the hope of their families. When hearing about the mine collapse, family members came to the site, anticipating it would be 24, maybe 48 hours. Yet it was more than two weeks until they even got the word that the men were even alive. In the days to follow, a camp was organized – food supplies, tents, generators, portable toilets. They weren’t leaving. Some of the children began to have school in a hut. There were even concerts and barbeques in the interim. Camp Hope had become their home and the people would not be moved.

A lot can be said of this hope. A lot can be learned. We may not be able to identify with the miners or their families, but I can guarantee that we all know at least one person in need of a miracle and in need of someone to hope for them. Thirty-three men trapped two-thousand+ feet under the surface of the earth. Clearly, an obvious crisis. Construction workers, engineers, rescue personnel and countless others worked night and day to do whatever necessary to save these. Feeling like there was nothing they could physically do, the thirty-three different families could have gone to each of their homes to wait for a report. But instead, they opted to gather together in a harsh, desert climate as one family to wait it out and believe.

Without making light of the horror that the miners went through, I can’t help but think about the amount of people we know of who are trapped spiritually and in need of a miraculous rescue. Here in America, thousands of miles away from that mine, there are people who walk by us each day who are trapped in a disastrous situation with no way out. Watching and reading about last week’s rescue made me ask myself, do I see people’s spiritual entrapment as an emergency? And do I believe in faith night and day for their rescue? Sadly, no. Not with the urgency seen in Chile. But I want to.

I am sure that there were times when family members wanted to leave that campsite. Sweltering hot days, freezing cold nights, little – if any – progress. The fear and anxiety must have been overwhelming at times. But they remained. And they had each other. One news reporter mentioned multiple times the night of the rescue that there weren’t thirty-three families anymore, there was one. And they were waiting for their thirty-three sons to be saved. Sounds a lot like what the body of Christ is meant to be. When you think about it, every single Christian must have someone they are praying for, some situation that seems hopeless. But imagine if, instead of us trying to hold out on our own, we set up camp with our brothers and sisters in the faith and lived it out? Believing together for all of our family members. We talk about it, but do we really live it? Something to ponder.

Part of what captured my attention about ‘Camp Hope’ is that the people continued to live life. Some went to work, others cooked and prepared meals, children went to class. They even had clowns walking around and entertainment. Not that every day was easy for these families – or should I say this family. It was a nightmare, but they were able to function because of the hope they were living in. And what hope it was! We need to live in such a hope. Actually live in it, not just have moments of it. We need to be able to live our lives, going to work, to school, preparing meals, even taking time to laugh – all in hope. Without choosing to camp out in hope as one big family, we will be prone to get discouraged and worn down by the sweltering hot days and isolated on those freezing cold nights. There will be moments, when we will see little or no progress in the situations we are praying about and the people we are believing for. It may be longer than sixty-nine days and seem darker than a mineshaft in the depths of the earth. But we must hope – hope in God. Not just on a Sunday morning or a mid-week prayer meeting. Not just when we feel good or when we see progress. Always. When we’re tired, when we’re weary, and when all the world says there’s no hope; we must pick up our tents and gather our families as one family and brave the elements of life, praying in faith and hoping in God until we see the miracles emerge like the miners did – from darkness to light, from death to life.

Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD. – Psalm 31:24

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.
– Psalm 33:20-22

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

– Proverbs 23:18

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:30-31

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. – Micah 7:7

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. – Lamentations 3:19-26

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.- Romans 4:18-21

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. – Romans 8:24-26

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. – Romans 12:11-13

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me."For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Romans 15:1-6

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. – Romans 15:13

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
- Ephesians 4:3-6

I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
– Colossians 1:25-27

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

– 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.
– 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things.

– 1 Timothy 4:9-11

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised… We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. – Hebrews 6:10-12, 19-20

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

– Hebrews 10:23

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

– Hebrews 11:1

Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
– 1 Peter 1:13

1 comment:

Christen Ringle said...

Jenn, this entry was gripping. SO GOOD! The family that hopes should be the family of God. I just read an article on Desiring God (surprise, surprise) about hope. What a fantastically put reminder and exhortation! Amen. Thanks for posting.