2 Cor. 1:3-4 (ESV) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
Hope in the Hopeless
Shocked, saddened or heartbroken, that is the reaction you get when you tell people your diagnosis. The Big C has always carried with it the equality of a death sentence. They don’t see the hope of Christ living in us and working through us, they see disaster, dread, empathy, basically, they see death in us.
I’ve learned in my life that Jesus overcame death and it is not something to be feared. If we feared death with every downfall we have in our life, every affliction, every illness, and disease, we would see it as a disaster about to happen. Opportunity knocks in the strangest of situations. Some people are used to show you the Glory of God in an affliction as we show you the Light of Christ shining through us.
There IS hope in the hopeless; you just need to be willing to see past your own hardened observations. Empathizing is a lot different than sympathizing. Empathizing is almost like feeling sorry for a person going through a difficult stage in their life where sympathizing is feeling equal in understanding what the person is going through.
Empathy – the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
Sympathy -- harmony of or agreement in feeling, as between persons or on the part of one person with respect to another.
When my Dad, Aunt, and Uncle were all battling this same disease, I felt sorry for them because I couldn’t do anything so I felt helpless and I didn’t understand what they were going through because I had never been through the same thing. As individual and unique as this disease is, we all handle the diagnosis and treatment differently.
Many are conditioned to see a death sentence. Many see no hope in the hopeless, many also would rather turn their heads to ignore the situation than bringing HOPE to the hopelessness people feel.
I’ll admit, after hearing the initial diagnosis, it crumbled me like a cookie. I saw my life slowly flash before my eyes and I saw an imminent death sentence awaiting me. The oncologists fed me their lies and I believed them, even after I had accepted this illness, they continued to shovel in the fear and hopelessness. I would enter the office full of hope, I would leave wondering where the broom was to sweep up the mess I’d leave behind.
I would regain the hope I walked in with not long after leaving the office and I promised myself I wouldn’t put myself through that series of negative mud-slinging ever again. I would build on my strength with the Lord and I would walk a path few are brave enough to face. Even if it is not considered bravery, there needs to be an inner strength and willingness to walk the path that might look dim to others but to you is a path of Light.
I see hope in the hopeless. Just like the rain filled days, I always saw the sun shining through. The stationary bike is a perfect example. I could see the days on end of rain as taking my newly formed walking routine away from me but instead, I saw the bike in the basement as a ray of light! And this week, I learned from hubby’s mom, who gave us the bike, that it had a story behind it.
Just a reminder, things always walk through my door free of charge or of minimal price when I need them the most, the bike rode in when my husband was suffering from blindness. The bike sat in his mother’s basement doing nothing and she didn’t want to get rid of it, but when her son needed something to keep his idle body busy, she offered the bike to us.
Many years ago, his mother had found out that someone had entered her name in a raffle. She is not one to sign up for raffles for her own reasons but this person signed her up and guess what she won? The bike! It’s a nice stationary bike, a Schwinn to be exact, with an arm exerciser as you peddle too! She took it not knowing what to do with it so it sat in her basement, years on end until her son went blind and she offered it to him. Little did she know that it would be a blessing to me also. We moved to Nebraska eight years ago BECAUSE of his blindness and had we remained in Texas, no bike, no story. His sight was restored in another miraculous moment that I wrote about, years ago.
God works in mysterious ways of bringing HOPE to the hopeless! I frequently see meme after meme telling me not to donate to the Goodwill because they are making millions off of us people. I have to disagree, I have never gone into a Goodwill where a Cadillac was parked outside and the manager was wearing an expensive Armani suit. No, I see people of my class or lower, working the register, working the backroom unloading donations, I see people WORKING and not for millions of dollars either. That is the only place where I can go and AFFORD nice jeans and clothes and I’m not ashamed to admit it either! I donate clothes to them and I buy clothes from them.
Hope in the hopeless, from a 2011 post of mine: “Ok, Shady Brooks is a place in my mind where water ripples downstream, I create the illusion of the rainbow permanently above my head inspiring me to move forward in life, sitting on the edge of the water with my notebook in hand. No laughter, just the rushing water, wind-chimes off in the distance and me sitting there, alone, waiting for sanity to brush my face and as they slowly appear, I realize, they are all new people, that have entered my life and are lifting me to the heights that I need to be.”
It isn’t just me bringing hope to the hopeless; it is my friends bringing hope to me, too. They are surrounding me with support and without them, I don’t feel this path would be as easy going as the past four months (fourteen years of friendship for that matter) have been. Sure I have my down days but there is HOPE waiting for me at the beginning and end of every single day! I make the most of a day and I find a peace in my affliction and will continue to share my HOPE and Light with you!
God Bless You, one and ALL!
Pss. 111:1 “Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.”
There is no one like our God!
God of this City