Crazy hope amidst difficulty
More than four years ago now we shared with Chapel Hill about suffering with infertility. It was one of those moments on which our life has hinged. Our seminary professors advised to keep some parts of our lives to ourselves—some are just too vulnerable for the pulpit and recording. But I felt compelled, truly, by the Spirit, to share. I felt like I was under a deadline. Graciously, Pastor Mark gave me the opportunity to preach what I’d been practicing— praying for the prayer that never seemed to be answered.
Spoiler alert: after eight years of infertility, our miracle came. Little Michael Reed, whose very name means “Who is like God? A bruised Reed he will not break,” is a walking testimony to our years of bruising and surviving with unbroken faith. I’ve been reflecting, though, on just how many miracles didn’t seem to come this year. That’s not the typical way I prepare to bring the hope of God—reflecting on all the hopes that didn’t come to be. Yet, it’s real.
I don’t want this to be a downer of a message or a downer of a week. You’re just being let in on the stream of consciousness of a pastor who lives and breathes both the hope of God and the suffering of people.
So let me invite you in on some crazy hope in the midst of whatever feels hard today. I believe, radically, in a God—the God—with the power to heal, the God who demonstrates that all will be healed, forever, and reminds us of that in the miracle here and there, the Michael Reeds among us, given to us to remember that God’s doing away with this desperate world of suffering once and for all.
You’ll have the opportunity to share your story, too, this week. So just pause here before you move onto the next email. Jot down or say out-loud just one of those hinge moments in your life: an opportunity you took or didn’t, a miracle or not, a provision or lack thereof. What happened in your life because of that hinge moment?
At that hinge moment when I preached, hundreds of people started praying for our infertility along with hundreds of other unanswered prayers. One month later, we were pregnant. What if I hadn’t invited you in? What if you hadn’t prayed? That one decision, that one moment, changed everything.
Rev. Megan Hackman
Associate Pastor, Chapel Hill
PS: That message from Christmas 2014 is still online here.
PPS: I wonder how many of your unanswered prayers were represented in that Christmas 2014 prayer chain? I wonder how many remain unanswered and how many more represent hinge moments? What an incredible thought.