Have you ever wondered if you’ve pinned your hopes on someone as ephemeral as a childhood fantasy? If the chances of having your prayers answered are as likely as seeing Santa pop out of the fireplace?
A few weeks before Christmas, after six years of captivity in a jungle, Ingrid Betancourt released her hope of ever being set free. Her unanswered prayers settled back on her as she folded herself in her hammock cocoon and let go of the will to live. The proof-of-life letter she had written to her family never reached its destination—or so she thought.
She was unaware that some militia had been captured and the letters released to the press. She was unaware of an army deep in the jungle, rehearing a rescue. And she was unaware God had roused intercessors around the world, including me.
On December 7, 2007, another world and thousands of miles away, a news article caught my attention. I clipped it and stuck it in my Bible. Night after restless from between my sheets, I prayed for a woman who had lost hope.
On December 8, 2007, Ingrid heard about the rescued letters. She wrote, “. . . for the first time in six months I wanted to eat. . . .I had a thirst for life again.”
Six months later, I fired up my computer and read the headlines: Betancourt Freed.
I know I have mentioned this story before, but I just finished read Betancourt’s book, Even Silence Has An End, as well as the one written by the American captives, Out of Captivity. They tell the story of tragedy and hope, of captives and heroes, of a God who hears and answers.
In retrospect, you can see all the people and events God put into place behind the scenes of someone’s prayers—a faithful mother, a persistent rescue force, an intercepted militia, and among other prayer warriors, an unknown woman inspired by a news clipping—just a few of the cast God uses as only He can.
At times, we all need to be reminded that our hope indeed, is on the living God. And even when our natural eyes tell us one thing, we know “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
For those of us rejoicing in the freedom of Christ this Christmas, may we remember someone who is not. Ask, and perhaps the Lord will give you a part in His Christmas cast to bring hope to the captives.