Finding Hope In Hopelessness

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”

Desmond Tutu

I was talking with one of my brothers tonight on the way home from work. He and his family are going through some challenging times right now – times that seem hopeless in many ways. After talking about the situation for a little while, we eventually landed on a topic that was more “fun” – woodworking. My brother is becoming a master carpenter. He has been building some amazing cutting boards, furniture, and other wooden objects. Meanwhile, I built a couple of relatively simple cornhole goals this weekend. It was good to be distracted for a few minutes. Before hanging up the phone, we again returned to the more serious matters.

I get the sense that people have told my brother that God won’t give he and his family anything they can’t handle. My brother and I have both learned the untruth of this statement. There are times when we encounter things in our lives that we simply cannot handle on our own. We need God’s intervention. We need the help of friends and family. We need the prayers and words of encouragement of others. These are the things that provide real hope when things seem hopeless.

This fall was a tough time for me as I encountered significant challenge in my wife’s mental health. There were minutes, hours, and days when I felt exhausted and hopeless. There were certainly times when I could only rely on God to bring me hope and sustenance for my weary soul. It was in some of the darkest moments when I had to lean into the hope that God could work through the challenges we were experiencing at that time for good. While my wife was in the midst of her challenges and as she has experienced healing, we have seen God working upstream in ways we couldn’t have imagined.

As I pray for my brother and his family, I pray they would know this hope and they would see God’s provision of healing, rest, and sustenance.

Hope doesn’t mean everything will be easy or worked out with a perfect bow. For me, hope means I can trust God no matter what – even when the outcome maybe different that I envision.

What gives you hope when you experience hopelessness?