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About the Writer:
Joanne Sampl

With grown step-children, college age sons and a self-employed husband, Joanne offers her time to God and to others. Her interest in writing and communications brought her back to college as an adult and through several reinventions of her own business and ministries. With time on her hands, she writes about God and life.



Passing on H.O.P.E. to Others

By Joanne Sampl

Recently we shared a special time with our grandchildren at an indoor amusement arcade. It was a joy to watch our 8 year-old grandson, Shaun, and our 7 year-old granddaughter, Alexis, just play. One of the indoor activities was a climbing wall, where people strap themselves to into harnesses with bungee cords, and then climb a vertical wall as high as they can go. My grandson was eager for the challenge. He loves to climb, and even though he’s a little short for his age, he didn’t let anything stop him. As soon as the attendant strapped the harness on him, he was up on the wall and climbing.

He made it up half the wall height very quickly. I was amazed at his speed. The footholds sticking out from the wall were closer together at the bottom, but at higher levels, the footholds were spaced farther apart. Shaun tried to make his own footholds in the crevices of the simulated rock. Suddenly, he was airborne with only the spring of the bungee cord holding him. He swirled to the ground and held his chest dramatically as he breathed relief. He looked at me with big surprised eyes, and admitted out loud “that scared me.”

With barely a moment on the ground, Shaun started up the wall again. It surprised me how little rest he gave himself. He scrambled up the wall in a different direction this time, trying to get away the spot where he lost his foothold before. Again, he swung around loosely to the ground, but quickly restarted his ascent. When his time on the climbing wall was over, he was breathless from his many attempts to get higher. I wonder what it will be like to watch him climb the wall when he is taller and stronger in a few years. I’m sure he’ll be ready to climb again soon, no matter what the obstacles are for him.

1 Peter 3:15 says: “Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, but do it with gentleness and respect.”

As I pray for my grandchildren daily, I hope some day Shaun and Alexis will ask me about the hope I have in me because of Jesus. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines hope as, “a feeling that what is wanted will happen.” I pray that some day they will want what Jesus gives all of us who ask.

Will I be ready to answer them? How will I answer them? I realize the answer is in the word H.O.P.E.

H – Help. We all need help. I need help. You need help. Jesus gives us the help we need. We aren’t meant to be alone or have all the answers. We need help. Admitting we need help is the start of knowing Jesus as your help. (Hebrews 13:6)

O – Over. Overcome, overpower, overturn, overpass – with Jesus the worst can be over today. What problem, situation, or circumstance do you trust Jesus to help you overcome today? Whatever it is, He can do it!

P – Pain. We all experience pain in some form or another. Whether it’s a scratch needing a bandage or a deep wound requiring surgery, we all have pain. When we remember that everyone has pain, it makes it easier for us to be gentle and respectful. Jesus sees us through the pain.

E – Eternally. Endlessly, Continuously. Perpetually. Jesus never quits, never gives up on us, and never ends His Love for us.

Are you ready to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you? It’s more than a feeling or a concept. It’s the very definition of HOPE.


Recommended Readings :

Hebrews 13:6 – So say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

Psalm 41:1-2 – The LORD delivers him in times of trouble.

Romans 8:37 – In all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Psalm 100:5 – For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.



Copyright © June 28, 2006 – Joanne Sampl. All rights reserved.


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