Judges 16:22 …Samson’s hair began to grow.
Jonah 3:1 …The word of the Lord came a second time to Jonah.
Joshua 7:10 …”Get up! Why have you fallen on your face?”
I love these verses. I love how concrete these images of hope are.
– A shorn, eyeless, lust-filled judge’s hair starts to grow.
-A fish-vomit, rebellious prophet hears God’s word a second time.
-A disillusioned, dust-biting leader is told, “get up!”
I see hope here. I see myself here. I have had my strength shaved right off of my head and felt the cool breeze on my scalp! I have run the opposite direction of where I know I should be going, and if I inhaled deep enough, smelled the innards of a rather large fish. I have expected victory and instead met failure and groveled in the dust disillusioned with who I thought God was and how He worked.
But these passages aren’t hope-filled because I can climb into them and see my bald head, pukey garments, and dust-biting moments. They are hope-filled because God is in these stories. He shows Himself as amazingly patient and merciful. He doesn’t give up on failures. No. He makes hair grow, speaks again, and sets us on our feet. Perhaps even more astounding, He knows our frailty. And not from some far off distance, but Jesus climbed into our story, into our very skin and sympathizes with our weakness.
More hope-filled verses:
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
In Christ are the most vivid images of hope:
-Not a shaved head, but a thorn pierced brow.(Matt 27:29)
-Not a fish’s belly, but an empty tomb. (Matt 12:40)
-Not groveling in dust, but leading us in victory to our eternal promised land. (Rev 19:11-16)
Are you feeling bald, puke-covered, or dirt-faced? Run to Jesus, our only hope! He loves to restore people like Samson, Jonah, Joshua, you and me!