Sunday, September 8, 2019

When All Hope Seems Lost

It was a dark day, darker than any day I had yet experienced. As I listened, on the other end of the phone, my mom said something that rocked me to my core, “Your father has advanced stage colon cancer.” I had no words. So many emotions were pouring through me. “Please God, not again, please do not do this to my family again”, was all I could say as I struggled to process this latest news.

Only 3 months earlier, we had laid my sister to rest after she lost her battle with brain cancer. She had been diagnosed only 6 months before her passing at the age of 26. The cancer had quickly progressed, and in just a few short months, she was gone. As we stood around her hospital bed saying goodbye, I did not think it could get any darker – so much pain, so much sorrow, so many questions – I was wrong, it was about to get darker still.

With emotions still raw from this loss, we had now been placed in another life changing battle. I was at school when I got the news, and was given the task of telling my sister. When I found her and told her, we stood there on the sidewalk holding each other, crying, having no idea what to do or where to turn. “God, how could you be doing this again? Not again, please God, not again,” was all either of us could choke out between tears.

Fear, sorrow, hurt, anger, doubt, and pain were all choking out what little light we could still see. All the worse case scenarios poured through our minds, and very little hope seemed to exist as we approached his surgery, a surgery that could have dire consequences for my father and his family. When you add to that the constant health struggles I and my wife were facing at the time, and my father’s looming job loss, it was very dark indeed.

I became numb and apathetic to so many things – my family, my ministry, my friends – as I slowly withdrew into myself. I felt utterly hopeless. I was hurt, and I was angry with God for doing this to us again. I found myself lashing out in pain at others, and I came very close to throwing away my family and ministry because I was done serving a God who would do this to us.

My dad’s surgery went well, and he is now over 15 years cancer free (praise the Lord), but those months and years after were very hard for me and my family. In these struggles, I had lost all hope, and I was honestly just going through the motions. Thankfully, I had some friends, brothers really, who would not let me go. They walked with me through this and helped me see that God was still with me, and that there was hope.

This summer, I found myself in much the same place of hurt, pain, and discouragement. When the doctor spoke those 4 little words, my world was once again rocked. “Not again God. Not another health issue. Don’t I already have enough on my plate with ALL the health issues I already have? How can you do this to my family?” These, and many other thoughts rolled through my head. "How will we ever survive this? How will we make it financially? God, I don't have the strength for another fight."

In one sentence, I saw my future crashing down around me, I was devastated. I knew, from research, how Parkinson's turned out. I sat there speechless as the doctor told me there was no cure, all we could do was control the symptoms and try to slow down its progression. I knew this was going to be the hardest fight I had faced yet, and it was one, that most likely in the end, I would lose. I knew this was not a death sentence, but it was a life sentence. How could I possibly find hope in the midst of this? I saw no way that this would be good.

As I considered these things, and talked through them (as I could) with others, God reminded me of a very simple verse, “Now faith is the assurance of things HOPED for, and the evidence of things NOT SEEN (emphasis mine).” (Hebrews 11:1) Things hoped for…things not seen. In that one small verse I was reminded that my faith, my hope, is very often found in what I cannot see – that is what makes it faith.

I could not see how this was good, or how God would provide, or even how my future would be bright. At that moment all I could see was the diagnosis, and it was not good. If that was where it stopped, then there was no hope. Thankfully, there were things I could not see – my future, the progress of this disease, the struggles I would have, but I also could not see His provision, His plan, His purpose, and in that I could have hope.

Even as dark as this, and other past life events had been, there was hope, and there was light in Him. “I will life up mine eyes unto the hills – from where shall come my help? My help comes from the LORD…”. (Psalm 121:1-2) In spite of the darkness, in Him, I had hope. I could not see what the future would hold, but I knew He held my future.

Hope, in the face of darkness can be very hard to find. Sometimes that darkness is so dark, it engulfs the light, and we lose sight of it. Hope becomes something we cannot see, but just because we cannot see it, does not mean it is gone or does not exist. In Him, there is always hope. It does not mean it will always be easy or free of pain, or even end the way we hope, but it does mean, that we can have the strength to face it and get through it, because our hope and faith is in Him.

If we are honest, we all have faced hopelessness at some point in our life. Times when we could not see the light of hope, but that is when hope is most essential. Hope is always there, even when we cannot see or feel it, because our hope does not come from our circumstances – it comes from Him.

In what circumstance are you struggling to find hope? Has the darkness choked out every speck of light? Are you to the point of giving up? Remember, there is always hope, even when you cannot see it. Keep walking forward and trusting that He is there. He will never leave you or forsake you. Your hope is in the Lord, from Him will come your help. Trust Him, even when you cannot see Him. Even when darkness clouds your vision, He is there, and that is why we can still have hope.

1 comment:

  1. My husband was diagnosed with early onset Parkinson's disease at 57.his symptoms were shuffling of feet,slurred speech, low volume speech, degradation of hand writing, horrible driving skills, right arm held at 45 degree angle, things were tough for me, but now he finally free from the disease with the help of total cure from ULTIMATE LIFE CLINIC, he now walks properly and all symptoms has reversed, he had trouble with balance especially at night, getting into the shower and exiting it is difficult,getting into bed is also another thing he finds impossible.we had to find a better solution for his condition which has really helped him a lot,the biggest helped we had was ultimate life clinic they walked us through the proper steps,i recommended this to anyone who needs there help.


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