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Sarah Bastian

Truth and Hope
There is a book that nourishes my soul as much as food and water nourish
my body. This book marks the beginning of my days and the end of my nights. It
guides the decisions that I make, from the words that I speak to the way I spend
money to the career I am pursuing. I have been reading this book for as long as I
can remember, and tucking away bits of it in my mind to carry with me always.
Because it speaks truth into my life and gives me hope, the Bible is without
question my favorite book.
Within the academic community, I hear much debate about the nature of
truth and the closely-linked nature of right and wrong. Increasingly, I hear that there
is no absolute truth, and likewise, no absolute right and wrong. In such a statement,
though undoubtedly unintentional, I hear a mockery of the struggling widow, the
starving orphan, and the suffering refugee. Is not what has been inflicted upon them
wrong, unquestioningly? Is there not more than misunderstanding or different
perspectives behind hatred and thievery and murder and war? Although these are
easy places to see the brokenness of the world, I find that even girls like me with
loving families and beautiful houses and comfortable financial situations can carry
deep wounds within their hearts. As I look around me, around the world, and see the
brokenness everywhere, my heart resonates with the Bibles words, We know that
the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the
present time (New International Version, Romans 8:22). Where does this pain, this
brokenness, come from? The Bible says, All have sinned and fall short of the glory
of God (NIV, Romans 3:23). I have seen that even the kindest, gentlest people have
made mistakes; everyone has made mistakes. The brokenness is real, and it is all
around us, because it comes from within us. Within these words, I hear a validation

Sarah Bastian
of the pain that inevitably marks human experience, an honest acknowledgement
that something is wrong.
If the Bibles message ended there, it would be nothing to me but a haunting
testament to a bleak existence; but it does not end there. Out of the ashes of
suffering and pain, the Bible speaks sweet words of hope into my soul. The God who
made this world, and whose heart is broken over the suffering within it, has not
abandoned His children. Beginning in the very first chapters of Genesis and
continuing as a constant thread through generation after generation of His
followers, God promised to send a savior to heal the brokenness. One of His
followers, the prophet Isaiah, gave this prophecy of the coming savior: He has sent
me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release
from darkness for the prisoners (NIV, Isaiah 61:1). There is hope! There is healing!
These words are music to my soul. When Jesus came in fulfillment of the prophecies,
He said, The Son of Man [Jesus himself] came to seek and to save the lost (NIV,
Luke 19:10). Jesus showed the world that God is love, and that love is sacrifice, as
the most famous verse of the Bible testifies: For God so loved the world that he
gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have
eternal life (NIV, John 3:16). The honest acknowledgment of hopelessness gives
way to the greatest gift of joy!
The truth and hope I have found in the Bible together serve as the foundation
of my life day by day, moment by moment. I see that there is suffering all around
me, and Jesus responded by healing and helping and caring, so that is also my
response. Jesus said, Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another,
and He loved through sacrificing of Himself, so I also love this way (English Standard
Version, John 13:34). Because of His example, I love my community by giving my

Sarah Bastian
time to volunteer at the Pregnancy Resource Clinic. I love my friends at school by
making myself available to help them with writing and speaking assignments. My
family and I love children around the world by supporting their health and education
through organizations like Compassion, and by encouraging our friends to do the
same. My life is ever changing to walk more closely in the footsteps of Jesus, not to
earn His love, but because it flows from the truth and hope I have found in the
words of the Bible, and because it is my way of saying, Thank you! to the God
who has given this book to me.

Works Cited
The English Standard Version Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.
The Holy Bible, New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan House, 1984. Print.