I was fortunate today to be able to share in the wedding of someone that Michelle and I have known almost since the beginning of our ministry as Salvation Army officers. We have seen incredible growth and transformation in her life over the past few years and I find her an inspirational symbol of hope and promise - a true sign of God's redeeming power.
At the reception, we were seated with her family and we all shared a little of our experiences with the bride. Everyone was amazed by the turnaround in her life. Reflecting later on, I thought about the part in which the people around us play in our lives. I wonder sometimes if all families are at least a little dysfunctional in their own ways. Even our best friends let us down sometimes. Yet most of us have the ability to overlook these things and we treasure those moments when someone stood by us in our time of need.
In Mark's gospel, we are told that Jesus' family thought he was mad. Perhaps some of them came around eventually, but Jesus also found a new family who followed him and ultimately took his mission to the world. We all need people who will support us in our moments of weakness - whether those moments last for days or years. This is a costly love but it also delivers something special which nothing else can...Hope.
The saying goes that "You don't get to choose your family". Sometimes we are lucky enough to have those people close by who will stick with us - unfortunately for others this is not the case. The person that can give you a sense of hope when you feel like everything is falling apart is a blessing beyond measure.