Hope Springs Eternal
I was sharing holiday greetings and sentiments with my friend the other day. She is an amazing person who has overcome many health and medical obstacles in the past couple years, including visual impairment due to diabetes and a broken hip from a hit and run driver as she was crossing the street. We were talking about her dear daughter-in-law who was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer while pregnant with their first baby last summer, and now the baby has concerns for microcephaly. We were talking about my own dear sister-in-law who has battled cancer these past seven months, first in her lungs and now in other areas of her body.
We were talking about how sometimes we need to carry the hope for others when they just don’t have the strength to hope.
My friend said, “Hope springs eternal.”
It does, doesn’t it? God has created us to believe in His goodness, His sovereign love, His ability to turn the worst case scenario into something with purpose. That hope springing up comes from our Father who loves us and has a great plan for us, a plan to prosper us and bless us. He gives us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Our hope is not in the new year, but in the One who makes all things new.
My neighbor was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and then caught the covid just before Christmas. One of the mama’s we help and support and love through FOCUS Ministries has a tumor just behind her left eye and is fighting for her life. She’s also fighting for her young son whose abusive father is trying to gain custody of him. My young adult son suffers from a knee injury that jeopardizes his career as a truck driver. My oldest daughter has neurological damage probably due to the covid vaccine. I could go on….
People ask, “Chaplain, how can you even get out of bed in the morning knowing all these terrible situations and sicknesses and sufferings are going on all around you?”
“Hope springs eternal.”
I was reminded of the true story in the Bible about Jesus walking on the sea while the disciples were in the boat, terrified first by the storm and then by the sight of Jesus who they thought was a ghost (Matthew 14:23-27). Because He is full of compassion, Jesus said to them, “It’s all right, I am here! Don’t be afraid.” He didn’t offer any lengthy explanation about outcomes, only the solid comfort that He is with them. And us. In all of our storms, in all of our fears, in all of our trials and troubles, sicknesses and sufferings.
He is still Immanuel, God with us.
My dear cousin caught the covid in September. He spent more than two months in the hospital, in ICU and also on a ventilator for much of that time. Our family prayed for him for weeks and weeks. We carried that hope with us wherever we went. At one point, the doctors gently suggested to his son that it might be time to “pull the plug” and let him go. But hope springs eternal … the Father did not beckon him Home. Praise GOD, I had a long talk on the phone with my cousin the other night. Although it’s taking some time to come back from this terrible sickness, he is getting back to his usual wonderful self, home with his family, working hard at his physical therapy sessions and renewed in his spirit for whatever great purpose the Lord has for his life.
What are you going through today that just feels hopeless? We have all felt hopeless at times, and life is no walk in the rose garden. But please reach out for help if you can. Reach out to Jesus. He is with you and He is a wellspring of hope for you. God bless you and keep you as you walk with Him today.