Pilgrimage Fueled by Hope
Sharon W. Betters
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him (Psalm 34:8, NIV).
We started our Pilgrimage Fueled by Hope devotional series by asking the questions, “What is your auto-response or default mode when life comes crashing down? What systems can we put in place to prepare us for those terrifying times?”
Remember the story told by Jean Fleming in her book, Pursue the Intentional Life, about a blind musician whose life disciplines helped equip him to survive being trapped under a building that collapsed during an earthquake. Fleming writes: “He structured his hours: He prayed and meditated for twenty minutes. Then he played, note by note, various classical pieces in his mind for forty minutes. He passed his earthquake prison time repeating this pattern, a configuration of discipline and creativity.” (Pursue the Intentional Life, Jean Fleming, NavPress 2013 page 90)
We cannot help but ask ourselves how we would respond if we were trapped and in complete darkness with no way out. Fleming answers that question with this statement:
Although I might never suffer through a disaster like this courageous man did, “everyday life provides ample challenges and opportunities to choose the shape my life will take.” (Pursue the Intentional Life, Jean Fleming, NavPress 2013 page 90)
Each of us is on a pilgrimage and every day “provides ample challenges and opportunities to choose the shape my life will take”. Though few of us will suffer such a physical disaster on our life journey, Jesus promises that in this life we will have troubles (John 16:33). Some days joy and purpose will fuel our journey, other days we struggle to “keep on keeping on”. Weariness, at the thought of taking one more step, tempts us to sit down and refuse to move. How can we continue to walk by faith when circumstances crush our plans, crush our dreams, shatter our personal worlds?
Throughout this devotional series, we took time to reflect on how some people in Scripture faced hard places: Anna, Mary, Hannah, and Jehoshaphat. Their response to life crashing down on them became classrooms for us. A place where we learned what structures in their lives created protective fences when they might have been tempted to run away. In Jehoshaphat we saw ourselves, making bad choices, but then saw the hope we have in God’s gracious redeeming love, no matter how painful our sinful choices.
We considered how our response to the invitation to “taste and see that the Lord is good”, (Psalm 38:4), can create a default mode that will either fuel our life pilgrimage with hope or leave us hopeless and helpless. Before we move on to the next series, let’s take this week to review some of the main points of A Pilgrimage Fueled by Hope.
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Treasured by Him,
Take some time to review A Pilgrimage Fueled by Hope. Note in your journal how this series has helped you reinforce or build new systems into your life that are now your auto-response to challenges and life crises.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sharon W. Betters is a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, pastor’s wife, and cofounder of MARKINC Ministries, where she is the Director of Resource Development. Sharon is the author of several books, including Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness, and co-author with Susan Hunt of Aging with Grace. She is the co-host of the Help & Hope podcast and writes Daily Treasure, an online devotional.
For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.