Just A Thought
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.Hebrews 11:1 KJ
Churches and barns are plentiful in Surry County. Some are old and some are new. Personally, the old churches intrigue me. I love the stories and the history of them. Who was the first pastor? How many people attended when it started? Who was in the congregation? And then we have the very construction of the building. Was it wood at one time and bricked later? With every board nailed and every brick laid, the building brought hope to those who would enter its doors when completed.
Through our churches, lives have been changed, homes put back together, and hope has been behind it all. In years gone by, there were prayer meetings where people gathered and prayed over the concerns of the congregation. Hope was there when the mom prayed for the son away at war. Hope was there when the congregation prayed for a child wrestling with fever. Hope was there for an absent dad to return.
People came to the church and held hands in prayer. They put their cares into God’s hand and what they took away was hope. Let’s understand that we don’t put spiritual power on the building itself, but the church building to me has always represented faith. And with faith comes hope.
Now let us look at the barns in our area. Barns especially draw me. Much of the old barn wood makes beautiful furniture. I’ve been blessed to be given a few to take down and it never fails that the force and work to bring them down is amazing. They served their purpose, and as the kids grew up and moved away and mom and dad grew old, the barn was left alone.
In our county people don’t farm like they used to. But the old barns are still here. When we look at an old barn, we don’t see it like it was originally. We see an old, battered, weed infested, leaning or partially fallen building. But it didn’t start that way. With every board milled and with every nail hammered, there was hope. Hope for a better life. Hope for a good harvest that would pay the bills and send the kids for an education.
Old barns don’t immediately fall, they slowly lean. And then a piece of tin blows off, and rot takes hold. But it didn’t start that way. As the church on the hill or the barn in the valley, hope started them both. We have hope today. It may not be in a barn, and for some, it may not be in the church building. But hope is still there. It lives in our heart. Hope is what drives us, wakes us, motivates us for a better tomorrow. But our eternal hope began in a stable where Christ was born and placed in a manger. Our true hope today lies in the fact that Christ still is alive.