For many kids in the UK, today is their first ‘non-school’ day since the age of 5. Those who are taking their national exams this summer will not be starting back after the half term – they will just revise at home until their exams later in the month. Then the results all come through in August. I so remember the day I went into my school to collect my results. I found my envelope, tore it open and stared at the list of results. And stared. And stared. Finally, my friend looked over my shoulder down the list, and said cheerily, “Oh well done, Jeannette, you’ve passed them all!”
The information was clear to her; she saw and understood it in a moment. For me, it was so significant, I couldn’t absorb it. I could see the list, but I couldn’t make sense of it, simply because it meant so much to me.
Maybe it was like that, only much more so for Jacob when his sons told him that his precious Joseph was alive and well, and lording it in Egypt! He just couldn’t make sense of it. It meant too much, he couldn’t take it in (Genesis 45:25-28). Finally, the evidence of all the waggons, and the story repeated over and over helped him grasp it – and grasp it he did! What joy! Hope to a hopeless man! Everything within him revived. He had considered himself too elderly for the long trip to Egypt before this news; but now, he couldn’t wait to get there!
Hope is a powerful thing. It changes just about everything – not the situation necessarily, but how we approach it, and that opens up so many new possibilities. As Christians, we have a mighty message of hope for our world; and even though they may not be able to take it in, we must keep on trying to tell the story and show the evidence so that they may eventually make sense of it.
And maybe there are areas in our own lives where we lack hope. Sickness, wayward kids, relationship issues, career and finance issues… or maybe smaller disappointments… Jacob was revived as soon as he believed Joseph was alive – he didn’t wait until he saw and hugged him to receive the restorative power of hope. What do you need God to do for you? Ask him to help you to believe and hope that he is at work in that area of your life, and be revived!