Caravan Sonnet: From Hope Valley Devotionals (Week 40): The Beautiful Blessing of Light

12/6/17

From Hope Valley Devotionals (Week 40): The Beautiful Blessing of Light

Dear friend, first, thank you so much for stopping by to read these weekly devotional posts that have been inspired by "When Calls the Heart" TV show from the Hallmark Channel. Over the past year it has been so delightful to share with y'all 40 devotional posts on Wednesdays that I hope have been an encouragement to you! Second, thank you so much to each of you that have taken the time to comment here on the blog or in the Hearties Facebook group, or have taken the time to send me an email sharing your own stories of hope and struggle. I have been so encouraged and blessed by each one of you that I have had the joy to connect with. It is a wonderful blessing to connect with others and realize that each of our stories are so unique and yet so similar. As today is the last devotional in this series, I want to say a special word of thanks for exploring with me not only the topics that have been highlighted in Janette Oke's books but in the television series. Thank you for taking the time to read and to bless me so much. Each of you are a blessing and I pray that as we enter into this holiday season you are blessed with the tender reminder of hope most of all. Thank you again! 

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas Movie (Season 4, Episode 1) of When Calls the Heart was when Pastor Frank was quoting this prayer of peace to the grieving widow, Nancy Tucker. This prayer reminds us that there is a beautiful blessing of light, not only in this season but for each day of our lives.

In our world that is in the midst of so much strife and grief this prayer is like a beacon of hope for all of us who are wanting to encourage and love well the people around us. There are so many people who are living out of hatred and I can't even imagine the way that love could change the course of their history if they encountered it. Love has the power to restore a lost voice and perhaps it can paint over the voice of hatred in this world.  

As we pardon those who have caused us hurt we spread the beautiful blessing of forgiveness into our lives and into theirs. In the midst of those who are doubting this season we can gently remind them of the hope that is just beyond the lines

For those who are despairing this holiday season we can sow seeds of hope, tenderly reminding them that there is always a little bit of hope to be found. In the darkness we can help spread light and in the sadness that many experience we can pray to help spread joy. 

This prayer actually continues and says, 

"O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive, 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen."


Isn't the ending of the prayer so beautiful? As I was doing more research on this prayer of peace for this devotional chapter I found out that actually although the prayer has been attributed to St. Francis, the original author is unknown. The prayer was first found in World War I, written on the back of a card of St. Francis that a soldier had been carrying on him throughout the war. 

Knowing this history and understanding that this prayer was written or was at least prayed during the season of war put an entirely different spin on this for me. Many times in life we feel that we are facing our own battlefields and wars. Many of you may even have (like myself) loved ones who are serving in the military right now. Understanding the depth of this prayer in light of these circumstance gently challenges me to not seek to be comforted or understood or loved as much as to spread these things this Christmas. For in doing so we truly have the power to change our worlds. 

At the same time though I well understand that in the hustle and bustle of our lives, especially during this holiday season, it can be hard to remember to stop and take a few moments to make the effort to extend out our energy to promote peace and love. In the long to-do lists and the things that demand our attention, it is sometimes difficult to even think about sowing love, faith, hope, or joy. Just the other day a dear friend told me that she was struggling due to her own grief in her life to do the basic necessities of life including laundry without trying to add "holiday cheer and spreading of peace and love" to the list. 

I know that many of you are struggling through this season burdened, limited in what you hope to do but can't and are living in one more reminder that you are not living in the dream that you hoped for at this time. If this is you than I am praying that during this season you are refreshed and encouraged as Christmas is for you, my hurting friend. 

Here in the north the darkness comes early at this time of year. One of my friends recently commented how it is a reflection of her life as she is struggling through these days. She told me that as the sun goes down early she feels that this time of year yells and screams at her that her life is nowhere near where she imagined it to be. I can relate to her sentiments. 

This season does seem to bring out what we long to have come and yet are still waiting on... and yet, that is the beautiful hope of this advent season and Christmas time. Our hopes and longings are yet to be fulfilled and yet, we have a gentle reminder that the light has come. Against the darkness a light shines. 

One of my favorite verses in scripture is from Isaiah which states, "Nevertheless, the time of of darkness and despair will not go on forever..." I love this gentle reminder that scripture acknowledges that darkness and despair do happen, but they will not last forever. 

Today, dear friends, let us draw inspiration from the prayer that is attributed to St. Francis, remembering when it was written- during a time of war and darkness. Let us pray to be a beautiful blessing- whether that is to others or to ourselves today. Sometimes we need to preach and treat ourselves to the things that matter the most. 

So today friends, let us hold onto what we know to be true. Let us hold onto the fact that no matter what comes we have hope. Let us hold onto courage no matter what the day or the future holds. And most of all friends, let us hold onto faith that daylight will always follow the dark. 

"Nevertheless, the time of of darkness and despair will not go on forever...The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine."
-Isaiah 9: 1-2-


Looking for all of the past From Hope Valley Devotionals? You can click HERE to find a complete listing! 

I receive several emails a week asking where you can watch older episodes of "When Calls the Heart". If you have a Netflix account you can find seasons 1-4 there or you can purchase them on Amazon. You can purchase and watch all of the seasons and episodes by clicking on the links below:

*Please note that the quotes used in these weekly devotionals are the sole intellectual property of Hallmark Channel, WCTH, & Crown Media, LLC. These on-line posts are in no way supported, endorsed or affiliated with WCTH, Hallmark Channel, or Crown Media. They are simply encouragement inspired by Janette Oke and this precious show.*

2 comments:

  1. The prayer of St. Francis holds a special place in my heart. Ever since our church choir sang an arrangement of it. Thanks for the reminder of the hope that Christians have now & throughout the year

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    1. That sounds so beautiful Ruth! I can only imagine how gorgeous it would sound in song! Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and leave a comment! I hope that you have a wonderful day and weekend!
      Blessings, Rebecca :)

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