“And there I will give her her vineyards
and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.”
It can be difficult to form thoughts into words in the face of tragedy…this is where I find myself this morning, in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting.
I have prayed for God’s presence with those who are hurting – the wounded, the mourning, those who have witnessed and heard horrors, even for the shooter’s family as they undoubtedly encounter stigma and a lack of sympathy from those around them. And as I continued to pray for those impacted by this event, my thoughts expanded to other recent events and to the divided state of our country.
Still struggling to find words, and struggling to muster faith that God can still heal us, that He can use something so terrible for good.
That is when this verse filtered through my mind.
And in my heart, hope stirred.
Hosea 2:15 contains one of my favorite phrases in Scripture. A promise of God to “make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.”
Because Achor means trouble. Whether trouble of our own making or trouble that seems to land at our doorstep unexpected – how beautiful to find a verse promising that the very trouble that has uprooted your life, possibly causing great distress and pain, will be the very means by which hope will enter in.
Hope for us. Hope for the broken. Hope for those who feel lost in darkness and chaos.
Our God is able to make this Valley of Achor a door of hope. So let us pray to that end. Let us rise up and cry out for Him to make this a door of hope for us. He works through our prayers. So that we will know it is Him, know He is God, and know He hears us.
I don’t know His purposes in all of this. But I am certain that He has them, and that they are beautiful and good. Playing out on an individual level, through His personal presence and help and healing to survivors who now face a new normal and must work through the trauma of what they have experienced; perhaps displayed on a grander scale as well. Let us pray for hope here, and believe that He will come through. Hope for each one of us. Hope in the lives and hearts of each survivor, of each victim’s family. May hope enter in, hope that they never imagined possible, hope ushered directly through the doors of this valley of trouble.
Because hope lives in the light of our Savior.
“The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shined…
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:2, 6
“For [the LORD] has not despised or abhorred
the affliction of the afflicted,
and He has not hidden His face from him,
but has heard, when he cried to Him.”
“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
and saves the crushed in spirit.”