I love the free time this drive gives me to think and process my life. I'm captive in my car with no "to do" list and I must focus on what is important to me in the quiet spaces of my life.
The winding road brings me through a small town called Vanderbilt. It's not the kind of town you'd long to live in. The narrow winding streets are lined with weary, run down, side by side buildings coated with years of dirt and neglect. Most days I drive through Vanderbilt, I just pass through and thank God I don't live there.
But, today, is different for some reason. It's like a light has been shone from above on this sad little town. I see things here I've never seen before. A hidden Vanderbilt emerges before me. I see a rather beautiful veterans memorial with a majestic flag floating in the wind. On each light pole hangs a lit Christmas decoration - a tree, a star, a bell. One business has its tree up, twinkling garland on the railing and candles glowing in the windows.
All at once, I see the hope that lies hidden in the heart of Vanderbilt. This dreary little town cares about the past and honoring its veterans with respect and dignity. Someone in the leadership made a decision that lights and decorations on the streets was important and wanted to say "Merry Christmas" to its residents and those passing through.
You may be experiencing a time of trials and difficulties in your life right now, every day teetering on the edge of giving in to desperation and letting go of your hope for the future. But, as you pray and seek God, He gives you the courage to hold on and not give up, waiting for His answer. Just like the little village of Vanderbilt, though you may be burdened down with cares and reality, but your heart believes in God's love and it brings the gift of the HOPE you have in Him. You will fight to keep your hope knowing that one day He will meet your need. Galatians 6:9 says, Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." If we give up, we will not see the answer from God, so we stand and keep standing.
Vanderbilt will glow tonight and its light will bring joy in the darkness. Daylight will come and the weary little city will show its defects, but its defects don't tell its entire story. There is more. There is belief, courage and hope. Just as your challenges are not your entire story. What you are standing for is the light that shines to guide your way. God says He will complete the good work He has begun in us. And, it is to this end that we strive. Let your night be lit with the bright hope of who Jesus is and what He has promised to us! His answer is coming.