I started with the word hope . . . it is something that has been running through my head for weeks. How do you quantify hope? How do you explain that it is far more than just an elusive idea, but is instead a solid concept built on faith not in ourselves or the universe or the world around us but in a God that loves us deeply and unconditionally? How do you convince others to hold on to hope when they are struggling to just get through the next minute? I just couldn’t figure out how to pull it all together.
I’m tired. These last few weeks have been a little challenging and a lot of crazy. A quick bullet list run down lest anyone think my life is picture perfect (as if):
- I got chased by three dogs and bitten by one while running a few weeks ago which resulted in an ER trip and (lots of) rabies shots. Zero stars . . . do not recommend.
- A frog got in my house. My son got him out.
- A mouse got in my house. I screamed. My husband saved it.
- My youngest got some sort of crud. Two doctor’s visits later . . . not strep . . . not COVID . . . just crud. She typically doesn’t like to share, but she went ahead and shared with her brother. Fun times.
- Our AC broke. It’s 1,000,000 degrees in Texas. Five minutes without AC is 10 minutes too long.
- I thought we (by “we” I mean our house) had termites for a hot minute. We don’t. Thank you Jesus.
- I’m sick of COVID. We all are. And watching the cases tick up in the schools is not helping. The other day I actually googled, not for the first time, but I’m hoping the last time (because it’s a colossal waste of time and not my proudest of moments), “When will this pandemic end?” True stupid story . . . but also, I believe that God has given us the miracle of modern medicine and the gift of wisdom. I’m thankful for and appreciate both.
While I certainly wasn’t feeling even close to hopeless, I was definitely having a moment over all the craziness. So I wrote the word hope and then thought, “I got nothin’.” I was feeling worn out and anxious, and we all know that anxiety is a master liar.
The reality is, I actually have so much, and my little bulleted list of problems is really quite trivial and in some respects, worthy of a few laughs. Does God care? Absolutely, because that’s WHO He is. He cares about it all. So I never want to minimize anything anyone is going through. But here’s the thing, I have a friend whose precious little one has been battling sepsis, who has been intubated and extubated, and fighting all the things in the PICU for days on end. His little body is in so much pain, and yet, there is still hope. I was reading about a 13 year old, the same age as my own son, recently diagnosed with a rare and hard to treat liver cancer. So much grief and heartache and confusion and pain for a person so young, but he still has tremendous hope. My prayer list of friends and family who are mourning loved ones, battling cancer and other illnesses, and struggling with serious issues is entirely too long, and still, they bring hope to those around them. Christians around the world are fighting for their lives . . . not for their “rights”, but for their actual lives, and yet, they worship without abandon, they praise without hesitation, and are filled with hope.
Here’s what I know.
Hope isn’t happiness.
Hope doesn’t mean things are perfect or even good.
Hope doesn’t mean that everything is going our way.
Hope is so much deeper. So much more. It’s what fills the gaps and keeps us moving forward not just when things are good, but especially when things are hard. Hope is what rushes in in the midst of battle, what pours over us when we are full of grief, and what makes us put one foot in front of the other when we don’t think we can.
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith – faith, belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness
Substance – a support, substance, steadiness, assurance
Evidence – a proof, possibly: a persuasion; reproof
Faith is what gives hope wings. It’s what makes it more than just a pie-in-the-sky unrealistic emotion. Faith is what makes it solid. We trust that there is an assurance, a persuasion, and a proof behind our hope because we trust that even if it all comes crashing down, even if we’re still dealing with this pandemic a year or ten years from now (I pray not), we have the hope of Christ and eternity with Him, and that can never be taken away.
So while I guess I have more than “nothin'” in regards to the subject of hope, I will say that nothing I have to say tonight is deeply profound. Some of you are tired. Some of you are worn out. Many of you are living in that place of simultaneous sadness and joy, of happiness and heartbreak. And all of that’s okay. Some of you may even be in that place of hopelessness, and if that’s you please know that you are not alone in this. You are deeply loved by a Heavenly Father who truly understands and feels every heartbreak and heartache you feel, and I pray that wherever you are, you find yourself surrounded by the physical hands and feet of Jesus here on this earth. I pray for the Holy Spirit to comfort you and surround you with deep, unexplainable peace.
No matter what comes may we hold onto hope.
Copyright 2021, Courtney G Davis, All Rights Reserved The writings and images contained within this site are the intellectual property of this writer unless otherwise noted, and may not be copied or used without express permission of the author.
*Note – I think it’s very important to seek qualified professional help if you find yourself in a place where you cannot dig out of the hopelessness. There is absolutely no shame in getting help. Please reach out to someone that has the qualifications to walk with you through this and help you come out on the other side. As always, I am here to pray and support and be a friend to those around me, but I am NOT a professional counselor or therapist.