Lately, I have been the recipient of much grace, many direct answers to prayer, and clear signs of God’s favor in my life.
And yet, I am prone to doubt, despair and hopelessness.
Granted, those moments don’t last very long with me but it never fails. The second I take my eyes off the promises kept and focus on my situation, I find myself in a familiar place.
My circumstances begin to overwhelm me. One second, I’m looking into the eyes of Jesus walking on water (figuratively speaking of course), the next, I’m gasping for air and reaching for help. I can just imagine how Jesus might feel having to, yet again, pull me up off my butt, dust me off, and reassure me. (And I get frustrated at the neediness of my own kids way more often than I’d like to admit — yikes!)
You’d think by now that after God’s track record in my life I wouldn’t be so quick to fall, so quick to go from celebration to desperation. Yeah … I’d think that too. But you’d be wrong.
Feeling the weight of my own little world crashing around me, sure that there is just no plausible way everything can work out, I feel the choking sensation around my neck as I travel down the path of hopelessness.
And literally, as I drove down the road to Starbucks.
Driving in the car, going to get my caffeine fix, I began to wonder, “Did Jesus feel hopeless on the cross?” The description of Jesus bearing the weight of the sin of the whole world, His Father turning away from Him, and dying of a broken heart reverberated in my active imagination. I wonder what the choking sensation around His throat felt like as He took on hopelessness.
But it was Jesus’ obedience and His endurance of hopelessness (defined in my world as no God there to help you) that ended up providing hope for all of us believers in the end. I mean, I have the hope of Jesus, and I still struggle to have faith in Him who has already proven faithful.
I don’t pretend to know how Jesus really felt, but I can let my heart imagine, and I’m thankful to have a Savior who has been there and has made a way so I don’t have to stay hopeless.
As each of us daily battle to complete the missions that God has called us to, I hope we can stand ever grateful and aware that we have a hope that can’t be taken from us. When the fear, anxiety, panic, doubt and hopelessness creep into our lives, my prayer is that we recognize what it is — attacks and lies — and courageously move forward. Pray, trust, HOPE, and keep walking my friend.
Nothing can take away our hope.
[Image via John Steven Fernandez]