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Hope, sweet hope

Oh, how sweet it is to be able to hold onto hope. The book of James in the Bible tells us that we should “Count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds” - but how hard is that in reality?

When your boat has capsized and it feels like every wave is pushing you back under the water until you’re gasping for breath, hope can seem like an elusive luxury that escapes your grasp each and every time. When pain truly has a grip on your heart and is clouding your judgement, powerful bible verses can be transformed into twee motivational quotes that belong only on fridge magnets and can be easily disregarded and ignored. Worship songs become background noise and spiritual disciplines become a heavy burden that weigh down your shoulders and niggle you with guilt whenever you allow yourself to turn around and face your feelings.

This is what happened to me a few months ago. Lost at sea, fighting to stay above the waves.

Eventually, I stopped struggling under my own power. I stopped thrashing against the waves and gasping for breath. It was scary - I thought that without my own best efforts I would simply slip beneath the water and not come back up. But I was exhausted too, and knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere on my own. I stopped striving, and started just being - I released it all over to God, laid it down at His feet and just stopped.

And that’s when He saved me. That’s when He showed me hope. When I put Him back in control of my life, when I put Him back in His rightful place.

Right now, I’m climbing back into my boat after a tumultuous few months being buffeted around by the stormy sea. I lost my grip on hope for a little while. But that doesn’t mean it went away or disappeared altogether - I just couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see Him. But He was still there, He was watching over me the whole time and this I know for certain: when I wasn’t reaching out to Him, He was still reaching out to me.

I thought I’d share this in case there’s anyone out there feeling the same way. Here is what I wish someone would have said to me a few months ago when I was in the middle of it all: Hope is still there, all you have to do it reach out to Him. He’s got you.

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