“But we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:2-5
HOPE. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, means to “expect with confidence”. But, as simple as it may be to hope, it is just as simple to lose hope, especially if what you are waiting for seems like it will never come.
The Bible is filled with people who lost hope. There was the Samaritan woman who was an adulteress that chose to travel to the well for water during the hottest part of the day as to avoid the criticizing eyes of the women in the village; the widow, who in the middle of a drought, decided to prepare one final meal for her son before their imminent death; and who could forget the Israelites that traveled 40 years in search of their promised land.
Like them, you may be losing hope because you don’t know where your missing loved one is or their remains have been found. You can’t see life in color anymore because their absence is too excruciating to bear. You are angry with God because you believe he doesn’t hear you, and won’t offer you the comfort you need. No one seems to understand that you are not able to breath, let alone function and carry on with life as usual. For you, hope is just another word that means nothing because every time you do feel any inkling that things will get better, life pushes you back on the ground.
I have two words to share with you that, if you allow them to, will change your perspective. BUT GOD. Believe it or not, God is there for you just as he was for the woman at the well, the widow and the Israelites. Let me show you.
The Samaritan Woman–In John 4:1-30, the Samaritan woman is at the well drawing water when a man comes up to her asking for water. After a brief conversation, Christ says, “Everyone who drinks the water I give them will never thirst…Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” This woman, who knew about the coming Christ replied, “I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Christ then reveals himself to her saying “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”
Now, here she was, first a woman, then an adulteress, drawing water from the well probably feeling as hopeless as possible. She had no husband, which was a woman’s covering and lifeline during biblical times, no children, and no respect from the people that lived in the village. Jesus himself comes to her, shares who he is with her, and then tells her to go back to the village to tell everyone that the Messiah they had been waiting for, had arrived. Just when she reached the bottom of her own well, Christ stepped in, not only to give her hope, but a new sense of purpose for her life.
The Widow–1 Kings 17:10-16 tells the story of the widow who encounters the prophet Elijah just as she was gathering sticks to prepare the final meal for herself and her son. The prophet asks her for water, and a morsel to eat. The widow replies, “As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” Elijah responds, “Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.” She did as she was asked, and “she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail”.
This widow is just another example of God stepping in at the right time. Here, she was prepared to die, and God sent a prophet to speak over her, and to show her the faithfulness of God and to restore her hope.
The Israelites–In the Book of Exodus, we learn about Moses and the children of Isreal that were enslaved by the Egyptians. Moses, who was born an Isrealite, but raised in the Egyptian pharoh’s home, was chosen by God to lead his people from slavery to the freedom of the Promised Land. They experienced great miracles along their journey, including the parting of the Red Sea, the implementation of the 10 Commandments, and manna, or food, God provided daily. However, many of them still got stuck in the “are we there yet” syndrome and lost hope. They grumbled, and griped, and most complained their way out of being blessed (read it for yourself to see).
I’m sharing these stories with you to show you how God intervenes. He knows you are at the bottom of your well hope, believing you can’t go on. He has sent angels your way to deposit what has been lost, and when that doesn’t work, he comes to you to fill you with his living water that will replenish and restore you. Don’t be like the Israelites who complained their way out of being blessed. See God for what he is, trust what he has for you, and accept the peace, the love, and the hope he’s trying to give you. This requires you to look with new eyes, not at your situation, but higher at the lesson God is trying to teach you. He, not people or your circumstances, is your hope, and he will never let you down.
*Please join Black and Missing Foundation, Inc. for our 3rd Annual “Hope Without Boundaries” 5K Run/Walk at the National Harbor on Saturday, May 30th. Click here to register.
Candance L. Greene is Editor for Black and Missing Foundation, Inc. Her work has been published in several anthologies including Bittersweet: An Anthology of Contemporary Black Women’s Poetry; Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction; and Fearless Confessions: A Writer’s Guide to Memoir, and most recently in the Huffington Post. She is the founder of Cherishedflight Communications, LLC., an editing and writing service. www.facebook.com/cherishedflightcommunications and Twitter www.twitter.com/cherishedflight.
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