He showed up on time, with a cane. We started the Wednesday night bible study as an outreach to the community. He came to encourage others to know the Jesus he followed. As he walked towards the table I said, “Good to see you Anthony. What happened to your leg?” He played it down and went to order some food.
The five of us met for bible study over the next hour and a half to discuss the bible’s definition of a fool according to the book of Proverbs. Everyone walked away at the end blessed by our time of learning and fellowship.
But before I left for the night, I asked again about his leg. He said it was in so much pain from the illness that afflicted him that he couldn’t walk without assistance. I asked him why he came tonight when he could have (should have?) stayed home. He said,
“I wanted to come. I am learning to take joy in my inadequacies, in my lack of strength. God is directing my steps. And God’s grace is sufficient. This is humbling, but Christ works powerfully through my weakness.”
I’ve seldom witnessed such an example of enduring hope and an endurance to share hope with others. Most of us in his condition would have been at home, not out to a bible study. But hope is a powerful thing. It believes in God throughout the trial. It compels you to do things that don’t make sense. It gives you the belief that people desperately need what you’ve found in Christ. Sometimes, we have to see true hope living through someone else to remind us of what it’s supposed to look like in our own lives.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” [Romans 15:13]