Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24
What is Hope?
According to dictionary.com, "hope" is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.
As Christians, we are to put our hope in our Lord. It is something that develops over time as we grow in our Christian walk. It is nurtured as we read the Word and grow closer to our Lord. It builds inside us as we learn to trust Him for all our needs. I think without even realizing it we are soaking up bits of hope into our heart with every scripture we read, sermon we hear, and blessing we receive. Then, when the difficult times do come, we are able to draw on the deposits that have already been made.
Having hope in some situations is easy. "I hope the weather is good tomorrow for our picnic." Or, "I hope the traffic isn't bad while we travel." And then there are other times when having hope is more of a challenge. Many refer to these difficult times in life as
seasons or valleys.
As I was flipping through my bible today, I came across a scripture that I had boxed in a few months back....October 19th 2013 to be exact.
A flood of memories took me back to what was happening in my life at that time. It was a time when I found myself grabbing onto every bit of hope I could find. I had to dig deep, as I was in a very difficult season in my life.
On that day, the 19th of October 2013, I had sat in a cold hospital room, alone, with someone who I loved very much. My sweet sister-in-law, Steph. I remember feeling completely helpless. And maybe, if I am honest, a bit hopeless. We were told she couldn't hear us and certainly didn't know what was happening around her and that it was only a matter of time. The only thing I could think to do was read my bible. And I did. I read it out loud to her. And as I read, I marked those passages in my bible. And as I marked those passages, I clung to the little bit of hope I had left. I had only enough hope to know that no matter what, even in the direst of circumstances, He was there, He had a plan, and He was a good and loving God. And even though Steph wasn't coming back to us, she was going where we all wanted to go when our time here on earth was done, and that was to Him.
It wasn't easy. Figuring out how to hold onto hope and let her go at the same time. As much as I found myself not wanting to read my bible, I made myself to do it. In some of those moments I remember feeling pretty sulky. But, as time went on and the last of the tears were shed, I realized just how much I needed my God in order to get through the valley.
It was hard. It wasn't fair. And, I would not have gotten through it without Him. He wants us to have hope in Him. And even in those times when we only have a little bit left, it's okay. Sometimes that's all we need -- just a little bit to get us through. From there, let Him take care of the rest.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12