“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.” Ephesians 1:18 NIV
I heard a pastor tell a story recently that has stayed with me. He was flying to a conference where he was supposed to speak. As he got on the plane he said a little prayer. Lord, help me to have a quiet trip so I can rest before this conference. He got comfortable and tried to get some rest, closing his eyes. At the very last minute a guy sat down next to him. He thought, maybe if I pretend to be asleep he won’t bother me. The man squirmed and squirmed next to him but he finally dozed off. Then all of a sudden the man elbows him in the ribs, “hey, you awake?” “Well ya, I am now.” “So what kind of work do you do?” He asked. This minister thought for a minute. Well, maybe I should just lie and make up something dull, but no I can’t. “I’m a minister.” He said. Well the man just broke down sobbing. Everyone on the flight heard him blubbering. It seems he was coming from the funeral of his very best friend who had died suddenly from a massive heart attack. He had come home from work one day and met his little girl and picked her up. He collapsed dropping the girl. He went on about how shocked everyone had been, how he would never see him again, and he would never get to share life with him. How could he go on from here. This all poured out of him in loud hysterical sobbing. It seemed like everyone on board was staring. “Well I’m sorry for your loss,” he said. This man was really grieving and he didn’t really know what to say. He had absolutely no hope. He was miserable. “You know what you need?”, I said. You really need some hope in your heart. The man gazed questioningly at me, how? So I told him all about the gospel message and how Jesus loved him and wanted to be his friend. The man stopped me and said, “but I’m Jewish.” I said, “that’s ok Jesus was Jewish and he love’s Jews.” The man thought about it and then said ok. They talked through the entire flight. As they deboarded I told him to have a great day and went to get my bags. The man ran after me and fell to his knees hanging onto me. “But wait, I want this hope, don’t leave now.” Everyone was looking at them strangely. I just wanted to get my bag and go. I walked the man to a nearby bench and explained to him that I had told him everything he needed to know. But the man begged. So I asked if he would like to pray? They went through the sinners prayer and I helped him ask Jesus into his heart. He was so excited and exploding with joy. He couldn’t say thanks enough. You see this minister just wanted a nap but God had a divine encounter planned that would change both of their lives. God may not always give us what we ask but they became good friends . We who know Jesus know hope. Without Jesus there is no hope.
Do you know this hope?