This morning God woke me up with a single word: hope. There are a lot of people reading this today who need it. I know what it feels like to not have it. I also know that a little bit goes a long way. It keeps you going when you are at the end of your rope. It’s the difference between letting go and hanging on just a little bit longer. To me it has always been one of those things that gives me just enough energy when I think I’m done.
In Psalm 142, David was hiding out in a cave as he was being hunted down. He was feeling like many of us do. Here’s what he says in verses 3-7. See if you can relate:
As I sink in despair, my spirit ebbing away, you know how I’m feeling, know the danger I’m in, the traps hidden in my path.
Look right, look left – there’s not a soul who cares what happens!
I’m up against it, with no exit- bereft, left alone.
I cry out, God, call out: “You’re my last chance, my only hope for life!”
Oh listen, please listen; I’ve never been this low.
Rescue me from those who are hunting me down;
I’m no match for them.
Get me out of this dungeon so I can thank you in public.
Your people will form a circle around me and you’ll bring me showers of blessing!
The lies that were in his head told him that no one cared about him, that no one was there for him and that he was all alone. Maybe you’re hearing the same thing in your mind today. You think you have to face this alone. You feel like there is no one who understands what you’re going through. That isn’t true. Don’t dwell on those thoughts. Those lead to a place where there is no hope.
We serve a God of hope though. In Jeremiah 29:11 God says, “For I know the plans I have for you. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” He has a future for you even when you can’t see it. He also wants to give you hope today even when you can’t see it. He has a plan for you and this thing you’re going through is part of it. He is strengthening you through it and preparing you to endure whatever else may come in the future.
Max Lucado wrote in his book “On the Anvil”, “God may have you go through a storm at 30 so you can endure a hurricane at 60.” I remember going through that storm and thinking, “If this is the storm, I don’t want to be in the hurricane.” What seems impossible to survive now will make it possible for you to endure in the future. You can survive this. You can make it through. There is hope.
I love how David ended his prayer above. “Your people will form a circle around me and you’ll bring me showers of blessing!” Don’t push away the people that God is placing in your life and are trying to form a circle of protection around you. Let them. Let them pray for you and with you. Be open and honest about how you are feeling so they’ll know how to pray. And when you’re on the other side of this, what was a storm will be showers of blessing.