This past weekend Pastor Manion highlighted the stark contrast within the temple complex where Zechariah served as a priest. As he exited the inner courts of the temple, Zechariah would glance to his left to see Fortress Antonia, a Roman fort with Roman soldiers looking into the plaza below. Imagine standing between the temple and the fortress. The temple served as a reminder that you are beloved and chosen by God. The fortress was a reminder that God has forgotten you.
This is familiar territory for us all. This “space” decides whether we live lives of hope or despair. For some, it’s the lease sign in front of your old business or the hospital bed hospice set up in your dining room. Maybe it’s the corner where you turn left—instead of right—to go to your apartment rather than your old house because your marriage fell apart. These “images of disappointment” remind us this is not going away and God has forgotten us.
In this “space” we choose to live lives of hope or lives of despair as we bump into reminders of our disappointment. Therefore, we must repeatedly make the choice between hope or despair, beloved child or forgotten refugee.
Today, type a note on your mobile device or make a journal entry identifying your “image of disappointment.” Then offer a prayer asking for God’s help to choose hope rather than despair.