Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’” (Ezek. 37:11)

LOUIS WAS A BRIGHT-EYED, soft-spoken seven-year-old from a village in rural Haiti. His parents were struggling to decide whether to send him back for another year of school or to put him to work as the primary caretaker of their family’s small garden on a full-time basis. Louis’s parents felt that their poverty cut them off from the hopes and dreams that others could have. My wife, Annie, and I were privileged to be in on the discussion as they talked over their options with our missionary friend, Iris. We noticed that the atmosphere in the meeting changed when Iris asked Louis’s parents what their hopes were for their son. They brightened for a moment and said they both thought that Louis might be a good teacher someday. Iris responded, “Then choose hope for your son. Let him stay in school, please.”

Hope is a valuable commodity for people who feel neglected or isolated. God reminded Ezekiel that because of Israel’s circumstances, both in exile and under the control of others, they had lost hope. Hope would be a necessary element in their restoration and for their future—and it would return as God placed His Spirit into His people who chose to rediscover it.

For nations, families, and children alike, hope is a choice that can affect generations to come.

Help someone you know rediscover hope in Jesus Christ.

Steve Wamberg is a husband, dad, writer, and pastor who loves preaching, teaching, music, coffee, and Nebraska football.

© 2017 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.