Thursday, 20 September 2012

Hope when You're Side-swiped

We just got back to London from a visit to my friends in North Wales. Charles passed their tests to prove his suitability for me with flying colours :) And we had a lovely time in the quiet mountains with the friendly Welsh-- meeting my friend's baby, climbing massive hills, and visiting stunning castles...

But do you know those days when you just feel side-swiped by all the painful things? I suppose the last few weeks I've just been floating on the high of our engagement, celebrating being in love and loved by this beautiful man with his beautiful heart, and looking forward in hope to our future together. The moments have been so sweet. We've cuddled up most every day to do a bible study on Jesus' life together and just reveled in the Word together, we've seen such beauty of His bit of world called Wales together, and just cherished laughter with friends. It's all been so sweet...

But the past 2 days have brought with them 2 bouts of news from 2 countries where I have lived and loved that I just don't want to have to hear. You know that feeling? The kind of knowledge of suffering of loved ones that brings you to your knees begging God to fix it for them, while knowing that this kind of evil and suffering isn't just "quick fixable"-- that's not how He does it.

God, why do the innocent have to suffer this way? God, how does my heart embrace grace for the ones who do such evil against the vulnerable-- against children!? And God, how can someone see another person absolutely ACHING and not want to do whatever they can to comfort them, not callously add to the ache? And how can I comfort and hold someone who is so brokenhearted without being overwhelmed by the depth of their pain myself? It all just hurts. The whole world just HURTS!

Pondering questions like these last night with a dear friend who has known evil and ache herself, she said something like, "No wonder Paul encouraged the church to 'dwell on lovely things' (Philippians 4:8). Otherwise, how do you cope in this world?"

And that is the glimmer of light God has given me to hold on to as I fight in prayer for these people in my life who are so hurting right now. God knew what this world would become with the entrance of sin into it. And He did not leave us hopeless. We have Jesus who will ultimately make all things new, clear this world of all the heartache and evil and suffering and sin. And we can hold to that hope in the midst of the darkness by clinging to glimmers of hope along the way. This is not the final page of this story. The enemy does not win this, no matter how it looks on the days we're side-swiped by all the suffering. 

Thank You, Lord, for hope! Help me to practice dwelling on it when the enemy wants me to only see all the discouragement... And help me to bring it with me to every aching heart I meet. You are hope, You are hope, You are endless hope. We can be free of this suffering someday if we put our hope in You. Thank you, Oh Endless Hope.

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable--
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--
think about such things.”
-- Philippians 4:8

 "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
-- Philippians 4:7

 [p.s. I stumbled upon this today-- kinda timely :) Have a go at printing one and making a list of all things lovely!]


Lizzie S said...

Hope hope hope. *HUGS*

Veronica and Daniel said...

Our pastor is preaching though the book of Isaiah and this summer one of his messages was titled something like "why do bad things happen to good people"...the weeks following that sermon our church was challenged (and continues to be) with "bad news" - a 2 year old boy with cancer, worship leader moving away for a new job, several families loosing their jobs just to name a few. It has been a hard time for our church family, but one thing that the Lord just keeps bringing to mind is the truth that Pastor Jim preached - that when it is all said and done, in the end, God wins. He is a just God, and justice will be served by Him. He knows the whole story and we can only see a teny tiny part :) I'm so glad you and your fiance have gotten to spend lots of time together :)

Gabi Dickinson said...

Amen. Oh Endless Hope...I hope this will also encourage you...another lovely thing to dwell on...He's hearing your prayers. I woke up today feeling SO much lighter in heart and full of embers of hope. So thankful...

book lover said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jay said...

well said, friend.

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