by Tammy Phillips
March 1, 2021

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.(Romans 12:12 NKJV)

I collect nativities.  On a trip, I found a Kalalou clay nativity for a bargain price.  On Wednesday night, after returning home, I discovered that my newfound treasure had accidentally been disposed of in a nearby trash compactor.  I was crushed.  I assumed my sweet nativity was also.  However, then hope, the patient, confident expectation of good was birthed in my heart.

The garbage site was closed on Thursday which gave me time to think.  I began “rejoicing in hope.”  A calm happy overtook my thinking.  Our trash had to be one of the last deposited into the crusher.  Each piece of my treasure had been carefully wrapped and packed snuggly in its box. Could it have survived?  Hope grew.

Early on Thursday morning, I determined to be patient in tribulation which means to persevere under pressure.  Hope arose!  I made a big sign and tied it over the gate of the recycling center.  “Please call me! I am looking for a treasure that was accidentally thrown away.”  It was worth the ask.  I began to seek out anyone who would listen.  I was persistent and left three massages with three different individuals at Waste Management.  I heard nothing.  I sought harder.  I found and left a message with the man who was responsible for the schedule of the dumping of the crushers.  He returned my call about 11:30 AM.  He had already climbed into the compactor and found the box that I had described in my message.

I ran and claimed it.  I thanked God and the kindhearted man.  I took my crushed little box home.  Unwavering hope and persistence had paid off.  The set included ten pieces. The gracious man had told me that some were untouched.  I carefully unwrapped each one.  I was in search of Jesus.  I first found the three wisemen. They had survived the metal ram and had persevered under the pressure of the compactor.  The baby animals endured. They had been patient in the tribulation of the trash.  Mary bore bravely through the trouble of the rubble.  Joseph’s legs had been amputated, but he did not flee from the debris. Outwardly, the angel had been shattered to pieces, but her insides were still standing strong.  Sadly, Baby Jesus had been decapitated, but I knew our Loving Father would put Him together again better than before.  Hope was in His resurrection and rise from the refuse.  He too would remain and abide with me.

I enCOURAGE you to rejoice in hope.  Have confident expectation of good.  It will come when you are patient in tribulation and persevere under pressure.  Jesus is our example.  He endured to death.  Look at the difference His life made in history and humanity.  What a difference your life will make in the lives of others when you show them how you bear bravely and resolutely hope. 


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