Having hope in difficult times is hard. My wife and I learned that first hand. I’ll never forget the day the doctors told us they were taking our son to the NICU at Wellington Regional after having a CT scan that showed bleeding on his brain in two different places. It was one of those moments where there seemed to be no hope.
Fear of the unknown haunted us.
At first, all I could focus on as I followed the nurse to the NICU was the spine-chilling silence of the hospital hallways. Each step I took felt like a step closer to completely losing all hope. We had prayed for a baby more times than I can count and finally God had answered our prayers. Here we were, unsure if that little bundle of joy, Oliver, would even come home with us.
I had questions. A lot of them.
I had questions. A lot of them.
The thought of leaving the hospital without your baby will make any parent’s heart sink and drain the possibility of hope. In our own strength, hope doesn’t stand a chance. My flesh was angry. Each step down that hallway was, for me, a step of hope slowly fading away. And that’s how many people live today.
Every day is a step closer to having no hope.
Each day it gets harder and harder to inhale.
The nights grow colder.
Many wake up daily already feeling like the day before them is going to be consumed with a negative doctor’s report, an argument with a loved one, an unexpected bill, and the list goes on.
If life is throwing curve balls at you right now, it might be hard to believe having hope in difficult times is possible. I get it.
Joy comes in the morning
The Bible says in Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning” (NLT). The sunrise is coming! Hope is coming! Like the break of dawn at the end of a long, dark night—hope is coming. Don’t give up.
I remember seeing my son in the NICU and feeling like the promise of Psalm 30 was beyond my reach—that joy wouldn’t come, and the feeling of hopelessness would last well beyond the sunrise. Having hope in difficult times can happen.
While my son was lying there, sleeping peacefully without any idea of what was going on, I knew all I could do was cling to hope. Hope, by the way, has a name. It’s Jesus!
…a sense of hope, an all-surpassing peace, entered the room.
When I was back in our hospital room with my wife and family, who drove back to the hospital in Wellington well after midnight to be with us, a sense of hope, an all-surpassing peace, entered the room. The atmosphere of the room shifted not long after we prayed.
The doctors couldn’t tell us what would happen therefore our hope wasn’t in man. It was in the reality that God was ultimately in control and that our son, our newborn, was His before he was ours. Hope entered our hearts the moment we began to pray.
Having hope in difficult times is possible
I’m here to tell you hope can reach you right where you are today—even when life is hard.
Maybe your job was impacted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maybe a loved one fell ill from the virus.
Or maybe you succumbed to intense financial pressure and emotional struggle due to the uncertainty of what is happening in our world today.
I’ll never try and say what you are facing—or will face—is small or unimportant. But I will say you can have hope. Just like my wife and I did in that hospital room the night our son was born. I’m a pastor—I’m a Christian—and I’ll never hide that about myself because the most loving thing we can do is tell someone about hope (Jesus).
I want you to have hope.
A hope that lasts and doesn’t fade with the uncertainties of our world.
The night I walked that hallway with hope slowly fleeting was the same night hope began to rise within me. You can choose to have hope today too.
That was a Friday.
Saturday came and the prognosis remained the same—we didn’t know much other than our son was transported during the night to Hollywood because they had better care available.
But Sunday was coming.
Keep looking ahead
That’s what we must remember. When Jesus was nailed to that cross on a Friday I’m sure the disciples thought all hope was lost—nailed on that cross with Jesus. But Sunday was coming! We must cling to the promise of Psalm 30 even when the days and nights grow darker and darker. Hope wins in the end (read Revelation 22)!
Sunday came for us…
Friday, hope seemed nonexistent. But by Sunday night, we were being released from the hospital to take our baby boy home. Jesus was crucified on a Friday afternoon and rose on the third day. Sunday evening, in the Hebrew culture, would be day three from Friday when Jesus was nailed to that tree! God used what happened to my son to remind me of the cross—that hope is alive, that hope always wins even when life is difficult!
Bottom line: Having hope in difficult times is possible!
I don’t know what you are facing today as you read this, but please know this: You are loved by God and have purpose. Hope isn’t beyond your reach.
The sunrise is coming—and what a glorious day it will be!
Originally published in The Okeechobee Post.