Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Psalm 17:14
"But as for me, I will always have hope."

Really? Always have hope? Is that even possible?
What about when death has robbed you of someone you love so deeply?
What about when you have lost your job and can't take care of your family and your obligations?
When you can't find a job and you have graduated from college and you keep waiting and trying?
What about when you sit beside the bed of someone ravaged with cancer?
When you see a loved one addicted to drugs and there is nothing you can do to help them?
What about when you lose the person who is most important to you?
When your marriage fails and you are alone and feel rejected?
What about those failed relationships and what the loss has cost you?
When you are failing in school and will have to give some answers very soon?
What about when the choices you make causes you to lose friends?
When your reputation has been damaged and looks like everyone is against you?
What about when your children go a completely different direction in the values you raised them with?
What about the loneliness you bear as you come out as "gay"?

These are REAL questions that at some point-some of them will probably intersect our lives.
Then, what are we to do?
Where is it you go when life crumbles about you?
Do you go to family or friends? 
Do you turn to alcohol or drugs to escape?
Do you take a trip to avoid the questions?
Do you avoid people?
Or do you keep so busy that you won't have to deal with what is going on?

HOPE is something we ALL NEED.
The word "hope" can be both a noun and a verb.
As a noun, it means: the feeling that what is wanted, can be had or that events will turn out for the best.
As a verb, hope means: to believe, to desire or to trust.

We need hope to survive. To survive the trials that life brings.
It has been well documented that people with life threatening illnesses fair much better if they have hope that things will change and get better. How else would one endure the horrors of chemo and radiation that cancer often requires?

As we go thru life, not one of us will go unscathed.
We each will battle things that will cause us to question, to wonder how we will go on?
If nothing has happened to you so far, be so so grateful.

But for those of us who have endured deaths, addictions, cancer, suicide, the end of our marriages or other endearing relationships, lost our jobs, watched our children go astray, had our dreams crushed; to go on in life requires that from somewhere, we need to find hope.
I have had my share of trials and mishaps that shook me to the core of who I am.
My mom died unexpectedly when I was 21 and I was lost completely.
My dad died years later, but that too was painful.
I have watched dear friends suffer and die with cancer.
I have had cancer.
I have watched different forms of mental illness wreck havoc on loved ones.
I have suffered the demise of friendships.
I have lost people I love dearly.
I watched my husband lose a job he loved.

Yes,  life hasn't always been easy for me, for our family.
When I was younger, I tried alcohol to ease my pain. It might have worked for awhile, but clearly, it was a temporary "fix" that didn't help at all.

The HOPE that gets me through the pain that life brings at times, is my faith in God.
HE  is the ONE who promises us: "I will never leave you or forsake you."
That is one of the MOST comforting words of Scripture to me.
GOD will be with me through EVERYTHING.
And He will provide me with HOPE that will endure.
Hope that doesn't disappoint.
Hope that will give me courage to go on, when that is the last thing I want to do.

In the hardest times in my life, I go to the book of Psalms in the Bible.
They are the ones that are so real to me. Where we find real honest despair and wondering where God is in the midst of our troubles, and then coming to the realization that He has always been there.
Sometimes He remains silent for awhile, often causing us (me) to question if He really cares and is interested in what is happening. 
Slowly, but surely, He begins to reveal Himself to us.
To help us understand He has never left us.
To remind us that HE is the ONE who will enable us to go on.
That HE knows what our future looks like.
I need that hope. The HOPE that things will change. That life will get better. That I will survive. That I can trust and believe and have faith in a God who won't let me slip away from Him-no matter how hard I might try.

Indeed, we all need hope.
Next time you are in the throes of despair, or the pain of life has completely overwhelmed you, I would challenge you to go to God. To seek Him, to see Him in the Psalms, and to wait for Him to give you the kind of hope that you really need and want.

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