Thursday, September 16, 2010

How Do We Hope?

I am surrounded.

. . . by despair.

. . . by unemployment.

. . . by sickness.

. . . by stress.

. . . by discord.

I am surrounded by difficulties these days it seems.

So many people I know are out of work that I’ve stopped counting.

I also can’t tell you how many people I know are trying, without success, to sell their homes.

At least two dear, faithful readers that I know of are dying. Literally dying.

I hear stories almost every day of something tragic going on in the lives of the people around me.

My heart breaks, aches, for the hurting that I know. There aren’t enough sidewalks to walk down nor enough hours in the day to pray for all the needs.

And then there are those near me who don’t know the saving grace of Jesus. Those who have never experienced true freedom, or peace.

My heart cries out for these who don’t even know the depth of their need.

And yet . . .

Juxtapose that with my own life, the life I live within these four walls.

A husband who loves me.

A home we can afford.

Children who are seeking after God.

A job.


Blessing upon blessing seems to be heaped on my head, and I don’t understand why. Why, when those around me are hurting so much, does God choose this for me?

Why does my cup overflow?

Honestly? That doesn’t matter so much to me. I’m not complaining, really I’m not. I just wonder sometimes.

In a world of hurt, or even in a world of abundance, how do we hope? How, when the world seems to be spinning out of control faster and faster and faster and the needs seem insurmountable, do we make sense of it all?

We trust. We trust because there is nothing else to do. We trust because we’re commanded to trust. We trust because we don’t have the answers.

But God does.

He knows your despair, and He knows your joy. He knows your situation, even though nobody else does.

And He knows your greatest need. The world’s greatest need.

“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.” Romans 15:13.




  1. Shelly, wonderful words of encouragement. I pray that it will be used today, as someone reads it. The gift of encouragement, not everyone is gifted with it.

  2. I've felt this way before (and will probably feel it again). Sitting in the NICU with my tiny, but healthy, daughter while other parents sobbed as they held their not-healthy babies was HARD. I don't understand why my baby was okay while others...aren't. But I know that God knows. And that has to be enough.

  3. Perfectly said Shelly...I have been feeling this same way recently. Thank you again my sister in Christ for authentically sharing your heart and the words of encouragement.

  4. Thanks, guys.

    And Mary, I've been there too. Sitting in the NICU with a baby I knew would be fine while others wouldn't. It's a mystery, but sure makes me feel overwhelmed and grateful.

  5. Amen. I have been feeling the same way lately. So blessed and yet it's hard to rejoice while so many others are suffering. "In Christ Alone my Hope is found, he is my light, my strength, my song...On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand"

  6. Good morning, my friend. I am filled with hope. I can't explain that either but know God put it there and I am soooooo grateful.

    I have been a shabby blogger but I have my recipe up for today. I'll be hooking up, so wake up over there girlie. This is your phone... dingalingaling. Oh they don't do that anymore. BRRRRRR. That's an electronic ring. Love you.

  7. Shelly, I think the back to school rush of the fall brings hectic days into our lives. Let's all take a deep breath and give ourselves grace while we adjust to the schedule!!

    I love this verse and thanks for the reminder.

    PS I can't leave a recipe because I cheat way more than that!! ;)