When my very dear friend passed away suddenly a few weeks ago, another sweet friend who always has the right words to say gave me a simple little wooden plaque with the word “hope” inscribed on it. She had tied it with a pink satin ribbon which I have chosen to leave on. The soft, feminine drape of this ribbon reminds me of the female friendship I have not only lost, but also enjoyed for too brief a time. And yet this small word, “hope”, stares at me from the hard, raw wood of this piece, begging me to consider what it means.
I’ve pondered this word now for weeks. It’s small yet so powerful. When I consider death, hope to me does not mean I hope for the best that perhaps my friend has gone on to a better place. Not at all. Although I continue to grieve the loss of this beautiful lady’s presence in my life and miss her beyond words, my hope is a confident certainty that she IS with her Savior and that I know without a doubt that I will see her again one day.
Hope may mean different things to different people. As an EDS Mama, I would not have been able to continue on without hope. How could a mother possibly watch her child struggle on so many different levels without hope? How do you bear that the child whom you carried lives in constant pain for years with no relief in sight? How do you manage to care for the rest of your family when you are exhausted from being a full time caregiver and have nothing else to give? How do you go to doctor after doctor knowing something is wrong with your child but nobody can seem to help you? Even after a diagnosis, how do you find any joy in life when nobody can fix things enough for your child that each day is not still a struggle?
The answer, my friend, is because of hope. But what matters is the object of your hope. Hope in anything else besides God alone will disappoint you and make you feel hopeless. Some might hope in their own strength, hope in a doctor or a specific treatment, hope for a good response from others, or simply hope for the best. Some may find it safer to have no hope at all and just experience life for what each moment in time presents. Did you know the bible refers to God as the God of hope? Romans 15:13 NIV says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” In what are you hoping? Are you feeling hopeless? I pray that God would restore your hope as you focus on the God of hope.