I got up today and made an effort to try and catch up with the news. I’d heard about the floods, the shootings and the continuing crisis in Syria but hadn’t tuned into the details. I’ve been on a crazy schedule the past few weeks, but knew that I had to stop for just one hour and try and fathom what’s going on beyond my little world.
It made me sad.
My heart breaks for families who have lost so much around the globe.
I asked questions, why? Another shooting? Why Colorado again, more storms, more devastation?
Then I listened to the stories, read the names of the victims, and I stopped to pray for their families that they could find peace and comfort in such a storm.
With our instant ability to tune in around the world it would be easy to stay focused on the tragedies, add to our discouragement and lose hope, but as I listened to Rick and Kay Warren being interviewed about their son’s suicide, they said some profound statements about finding hope in the storm. Kay Warren at one point said, “I have to rebuild a new hope.” That’s what the people in Colorado will do after the flooding subsides, rebuild new lives. The families in Washington, DC will need to heal and rebuild their hope and find their purpose to keep living without their loved ones. The Syrian people will have to rebuild after so much devastation.
Hope is the key, it is what propels us to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Hope is what we need to keep breathing emotionally.
Hope gives us the courage to be able to move forward.
Hope is a person. Jesus Christ, God the Father and the Holy Spirit who engages us and infuses our hearts with comfort and peace when we are hurting.
Several years ago, I was in a pit of depression, and I felt hopeless. I felt lost in the storm. I had lost hope. One Sunday morning this is what I got up and wrote:
It is Sunday morning and for the first time in many years, I could not bring myself to go to church. Not that I didn’t long to worship and hear your Word. But I’m not ready to answer questions from others. This morning I slept to avoid the despair and pain that I feel deep in my heart. I feel as though my insides have been sliced and gutted with no way to repair them.
Lord Jesus, if I didn’t have you, or the history of hope you’ve demonstrated through the years, I would just lie down and die. This is more painful than I could ever imagine and at this moment I am totally overwhelmed. My body is shaking, I have chills, and my stomach is in knots. Help me to rest Lord Jesus in you. You are my perfect peace, my refuge. I feel as though I have a threadbare existence emotionally. Any energy that is left is toppled and is truly like grasping at the wind. Lord Jesus I’m frightened of what lies ahead even tomorrow. Hold my hand, carry me Lord, I am at the end.
A “history of hope” that is what I held onto, knowing that God was going to hold my hand through the crisis in that season. Psalm 84:5,6 became an anchor for me during that time and I never forgot it.
Psalms 84:5, 6
Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools of blessing collect after the rains!
Stumbling around in the valley of despair with torrents of rain drenching the soul makes it difficult to see the pools of blessing that are just around the corner. But the pools of blessing after the rain are our hope, our promise after the storm. These verses remind us that after every storm the clouds do part for us to see God’s blessing and His provision.
Just as an umbrella becomes a blessing in a rainstorm as we travel, Jesus is our covering through the valley of weeping.
He weeps with us, and grieves as we do over whatever situation we are faced with.
What does the psalmist mean when he says “Happy are those who are strong in the Lord?” I believe the writer intends for us to understand that no matter what storm we face in life, our only strength to survive the torrent is to put our hope and trust in God’s strength and His strength alone.
Can you trust that God is your hope today to walk through the storm?
Can you ask Him for strength for you to lean on?
What glimmer of blessing can you see in the rain pool already?
2 Chronicles 16:9 says, “The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
This is our hope in the storm. To know that God’s eye is searching you out to strengthen you today is a promise of great meaning and treasure. To shield you like an umbrella and cover you with His great love in this storm! I pray you find HOPE today and that it gives you the courage you need for today.