by Andrew Carruthers
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23
Abe… "I remember getting a text message in Puerto Rico saying there's all these rumors that Andy (Irons) passed away…I was like it's just rumors you know Andy's sick he went home."
When the unimaginable invades our lives, and the darkness of on overwhelming situation seeps in like an unexpected fog; where do we find clarity? How do we navigate and help those around us to navigate the worst of situations?
Abe... "I got a phone call from Hawaii confirming that Andy had passed. I remember feeling just shock and thinking this is the time I've got to stand up and do something. People are going to be looking for help, answers and guidance. I knew that I had to just point to hope, and hope in Christ."
It's in these darkest moments that we desperately need the light. No amount of wishful thinking and poetic words can speak to death like the man who conquered it, Jesus Christ. John writes of his encounter with the risen Jesus...
"When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, 'Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.'" Revelation 1: 17-18
I love Jesus' words to John. John has been exiled to the Greek island of Patmos to live out the remainder of his life alone. Here he writes Revelation after an encounter with the risen Jesus. The same Jesus he followed all those years before in the dusty back streets of Israel. The Jesus who rose from death after crucifixion and appeared to the apostles and many witnesses. Now here in the isolation of Patmos Jesus speaks the most comforting words the frail old John would ever hear, "Fear Not." Fear erodes hope, it sucks the life out of it. Our greatest fear is of the unknown, this is why Abe knew it was important to, "...point to hope and hope in Christ."
Abe... "I visited everyone and it was a real emotional time...we did the paddle out the next day. It was the best thing to do but I remember that was just such a hard thing. I did a prayer with all the surfers beforehand and I was just in tears. It was real significant but it was also such a time of growing. I grew with the family of surfers."
"That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil." Hebrews 9:18-19
"There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:4-6
Jesus has passed beyond the veil of death he alone holds the keys to life and life eternal. In fact, he alone is the only door by which we can enter...
"So Jesus again said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep...I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.'" Jn 10:7-9
There is Hope, one Hope, JESUS. He is the first and the last, the living one, who died and lives forevermore. We invest our hope in so many things, we hope the swell comes up, we hope it doesn't rain, we hope for a promotion and a good job.
Shouldn't we invest our hope in something with a guaranteed return?
JESUS... "I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved."
Learn more and watch other videos in the 'This is My Story' series on the Christian Surfers Australia website.