Full of Hope
Tomorrow marks the end of another year, which causes us all to reflect upon the past and set new goals and visions for the future. Up until a couple years ago, every year that passed I declared to be our “best year yet!” I cannot honestly say the same for 2018 and 2019. Both of those years were filled with lots of stress and struggles. We lived most of our days just focusing on putting one foot in front of the other.
As I often reflected on what was going on and what we were supposed to be learning from it, I kept coming to 1 Peter 4. This is a wonderful chapter which speaks about living for Christ and suffering as a result. Verse 12 reminds us, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.”
Choosing the narrow path also means choosing to go head to head with the enemy on a regular basis. There is nothing “blue skies and rainbows” about preparing for battle or fighting in a war. It is hard and messy and exhausting.
However, no soldier should enter into battle blindly. He educates himself. He trains daily. He wears special armor to protect himself and looks to his commanding officer for direction. I feel that is what we have been in the trenches doing for the past couple of years. Now, as 2020 approaches, I have been zeroing in on every Bible verse that speaks of hope.
1 John 4:8 tells us that “…God is love,” and what does 1 Corinthians 13:7 say about love? “Love…always hopes, always perseveres.”
Jian’s motto has always been, “Never give up!” When we battled so many doctors who had no hope of helping her physically, it was utterly exhausting. However, we always knew there were people out there who could help, if we could just find them. It took 2 long years, but we finally did! How refreshing it is to be in the presence of that “tribe” of experts and people who “get it.”
Now with this new chapter, I have been flabbergasted at the people who have no hope of helping these kiddos through their past traumas. If you are reading this and are in a similar place, I would urge you to boldly walk away from any professional telling you that this “may just be her story…for a lifetime.”
No; there are people who do know how to help. There are modalities that are extremely effective. It takes work. You will go to battle, and you will be exhausted, but at the end of the day, it will be so worth it. Love always hopes and always endures.
Yesterday in the sermon at church, we read Jeremiah 31:16-17, and I decided to make this our family’s verse for 2020:
“Refrain your voice from weeping and your ears from tears; For your work shall be rewarded, says the Lord, and they shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope in your future, says the Lord...”
Bringing home children from hard places or parenting kiddos with special needs can be extremely lonely and isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. Stay in the Word daily. Storm the throne of heaven daily on their behalf. Plead to the One who created their very bodies and minds. He will never leave them nor forsake them. He has plans to prosper them. What satan intended for evil, He will use it for good.
And one day, there will be a breakthrough. They will spread their wings and soar, and do the very thing they were placed on this earth to do, for His glory. And we will be standing back on the sidelines screaming our heads off and cheering them on to victory.
This is bigger than us. Be the vessel. Take the time. Do the work. They’re worth it. He has huge plans for them. Stop believing the lies. There is always hope.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13