Sunday, November 9, 2008

Never Hopeless -- Hope Chronicles 77

Have you ever felt hopeless about a situation or someone else or even yourself? I know that in the face of depression I can feel hopeless. The fall, the coming of the holiday season always tugs me towards depression. I think it is that there are so many hard memories gathered up there. They are what the psychological community would call triggers.

I'm mindful of them at the moment. I am trying to choose hope. I suppose that is what the 40 to 40/Practice Gratitude posts are about.

But while I am mindful, I know there is a sense of desperation, of wanting God to zap whatever issue I am facing -- financial, relationships, health, and depression. I want it all gone. But the question rises up if I believe that God wants to heal those things in my life. I am discovering the heart of mistrust.

I came across this quote from Charles L Allen:

"When you say a situation or a person is hopeless, you are slamming the door in the face of God."

Ouch. I love metaphors, word pictures. The idea of slamming the door in the face of God is visually and almost audibly horrifying to me. It is most horrifying because I know that I do it.

Julie, my counselor, has called me on it at times. No, she hasn't used those words or that quote. However, at times she cautions me on some of the things I say like, "Why keep trying?" or "Things will never get better." Sometimes she cautions that God may take me at my word.

I don't want to slam the door in the face of God any longer. Rather I want to be the woman recorded in Mark 5:21-33 who reached for Jesus' hem, faithfully believing that if she reached out to touch him her twelve years of suffering would end. Jesus felt the power leave him. He stopped and asked in the great press of a crowd who had touched him? She comes trembling, probably sure of a rebuke. But Jesus tells her, "Daughter, you faith has healed you. God in peace and be freed from your suffering."

After 12 years of suffering, I would think that she would have to have felt hopeless. No doctor had been able to relieve her suffering. She must have prayed. She must have asked why.

What is so appealing about her is that even in the midst of the suffering she does not give up. She pushes through the crowd and has the courage to hope enough to reach out and touch Jesus.

I know several people I care about are suffering in one way or another right now. My prayer today is that each of us would not slam and not allow the door to be slammed by others in the face of God. May we keep reaching because God is ever present, ever reaching down to take us by the hand and either heal us or walk through that place of suffering with us. He never leaves us. There is always hope.


1 comment:

hkudla said...

Oh Amy,
this is so good. I too have been, at so many points, struggling with the negative comments. I understand, that whole idea, the image, of slamming the door shut in God's face is very jarring. I think too many times I have done that. It has been a concentrated effort this year to keep myself from slamming that door. Many times it has been just like when you find yourself slamming a door shut at home, and grab it just in time...
Sometimes, i have closed it quietly, sometimes slammed it hard, other times, left it open a crack. The wonderful thing is, that I keep having to remember; God is a gentleman. He will not force His way into anything, or any situation.
I have had to really remember that, even in the day I have had today, struggling with a bad cold and sick kids, to allow Him into the day... and not just allow Him, but invite Him. Once I did that (unfortunately it took me till this afternoon) my day took on a much brighter light, and I found I suddenly had more patience with myself (because I have NO VOICE!!!) and with my tired, sick kids... and my husband who is working on a project, etc.
Know I am praying for you...
And I really love the 40 to 40 posts. Making me re-evaluate things too... especially when I find myself getting down a bit... aftermath of a high from a counseling session i suppose...
I hope and pray for you that God will continue to give you hope and purpose and joy in your life...
Love you,