What powerful tools God has given us! This morning I was spiraling into my well... and not finding any place for calm or reflexion. There is no place of sanctuary for me (or so I felt) here. I put on FB the request for prayers - non specific, he (God) knows of my thoughts and struggles and he provided.
Got to visit with my sisters! That is the help he provided me with today. There he showed me love and the power of hope. One of my sister's is battling her second fight with cancer... she has been reading a book called "A Cup of Hope", by Emilie Barnes. In that book she shared a portion that hit just the right spot today. It can pertain to not only her situation, but any struggles we find ourselves in... such as I was feeling this morning. Here is the section we read:
And never underestimate the endurance requird to keep on hoping over the long haul. Fatigue and despair so often walk hand in hand. When you get really tired, the tendency is to give up on hoping. To focus only on your aching feet and burning muscles, losing sight of where you're walking and why.
But here's the other side of the connection between hope and strength that makes it all work.
Yes, hope requires strength -- sometimes all thes strength you can muster. But hope also gives you strength. Hope energizes. Hope moves you forward. When you dare to hope, you can do so much more than you ever thought.
And yes, hope requires courage -- but hoping can make you brave. It makes the sacrifices seem worthwhile.
And hope certainly requires endurance. But hope helps you endure. Hope will carry you farther through suffering and trials than almost any quality. For hope is often the thing that kicks in to endure when physical, emotional, and mental strength is gone. It's one of those seemingly fragile qualities that endure when more robust attitudes have failed.
The poet Emily Dickinson once suggested that hope is a "thing with feathers" that keeps on singing no matter what happens. I think of it more like a monarch butterfly or a hummingbird -- those seemingly delicate little creatures that migrate millions of miles a year, flying through rain, wind, and snow to reach their destination. It may seem fragile, but it's enduring. And it's brave. And therefore it's remarkably strong.
And here's the truth that makes it all work: We're not expected to come up with the strength and courage and endurance on our own. In fact, we're not espected to be strong at all. We get ouor strong hope, our courageous hope, our enduring hope, by depending in the Lord, who is our strength.
But it doesn't just come to us by sitting there, waiting to be strong so we can move forward in hope. the way it usually works is that we just start doing what we thing God wants us to do, tructing that we will be given the strength we need when we need it. Like the hummingbird or the monarch, we just start doing what we need to do.
That's when the power of the Lord kicks in, and hope starts to sing.
Hope is always stronger than you think. Trust it -- and you will find the strength and courage you need.
Such good and timely words. Words I so needed to hear today... So the prayer that was sent out earlier, harvested the HOPE I feel right now...
Thank you Lord - and my sisters for being the answer to my earlier prayers :)