Hope: Nowhere to be Felt but Everywhere to be Found

As I begrudgingly roll out of bed – my eyes barely open – I drag my feet into my son’s room to rescue him from his crib. We begin our day with tears – many tears. The heavy tears, the tears that don’t feel productive because they occur too often. The tears where you don’t feel better afterwards, just sadder. He chugs the milk, swats away the cheerios. No breakfast, no toys; nothing will please him. He pulls at me to pick him up, but once he’s up, he just throws his head back screaming. He can’t live with me or without me. He’s just living in misery.

We’ve had six weeks of sickness in our house – plagued since the day Dad deployed. Stomach bug, chest cold, ear infection, stomach bug, head cold, ear infection.

Hope is nowhere to felt but everywhere to be found. Or so I’m told.

My tears are almost as frequent as my son’s which is embarrassing to admit but probably almost true.

I’ve decided that it’s not my son’s neediness or missing my husband or even the sickness that’s wearing me down the most – it’s the not understanding of why God is allowing me to go through such misery.

Maybe my misery doesn’t sound like misery to you – even on my worst days I know that someone else has it harder – but it still feels dark and hopeless. My head knows that life isn’t so bad but my heart is just low.

So, back to this morning – my son was crying, needing so much from me that I didn’t have a chance to even drink water, yet alone coffee, until three hours after we woke up. Eventually, since I clearly wasn’t able to help him, I took a shower and let him cry at the glass door while I tried to clear my head. Miraculously, we were able to get dressed and make it to church. I was dreading it. I knew my heart needed it but I didn’t want to go. I dragged myself there, literally and emotionally. We walked into the lobby and friendly faces kindly asked how we were doing. Like a zombie, my response was “we’re surviving.” I couldn’t fake it, I couldn’t lie, but I also couldn’t tell the whole truth – who wants to hear that?!

The first song of worship got me. I couldn’t even sing because the tears had my throat all choked up. After praying, I decided I had to let the words come out and in order to do that, I had to let the tears come too. This verse came up on the screen: Romans 8:18: I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

An elder welcomed us all to silently pray before the sermon. I knew what I had to do. I had to turn around, get on the floor, and kneel at my seat. I had to physically fall at the throne of Jesus in order to spiritually resign myself to Him.

Why is it that falling at the feet of Jesus is so hard to do? Why is it – in the moments of exhaustion, hopelessness, and loneliness – giving Him those feelings feels impossible?

I’m not going to pretend to have all of the answers to my problems – but what I have realized is that the only place to begin is at His feet. So, I don’t know what’s next. I don’t know how the Lord is going to redeem this challenging season of my life but I do know, now, that I have to entrust it all to Him.  

All that means right now is saying (on a minute-to-minute basis), God, this pain is yours. I entrust my hurt, my exhaustion, my heart to you. I ask you to redeem it all and use it for your glory. I seek to worship you with my life, including my afflictions. Help me Lord, I can’t do it without you. I find hope there.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2 NIV