During the month of June, high school students say “I hope I pass my exams” or “I hope I get that eighty average I need.” Worried parents hope their child will make the right choices in life. The unemployed hope this next interview will result in a job offer.
Psychologists tells us, Hope is essential for the human Spirit. When we lose all hope, suicide becomes a welcome escape.
As a Christian, I place my hope in God. Over the years, I have developed a four step process that carries me through difficult situations.
1. Prepare – Research, study, get ready for life’s tasks
2. Pray – Thank God for this opportunity, no matter how difficult. Ask God for help.
3. Proceed trusting in God and giving my absolute best.
4. Pray – The job done, the experience over, give responsibility for results to God.
Those “Four P’s” give me hope. I’ll never forget my despair, when driving to the home of a couple whose eight year old girl had been killed in an unusual accident. I was overwhelmed. What did I have to offer in the midst of this tragedy? I wanted to run like Jonah in the opposite direction. How could I hope to help these grieving parents. I stopped the car along the road to pray.
“God, my only hope lies in you. You got me into this. You called me to ministry. I’ve had years of training and experience, yet I’m not prepared. Show me what to do and say because I’m lost. I’ll give my best, and my hope is in you. Use my efforts Lord, in Jesus’ name. Amen”
Theologian Henri Nouwen wrote, “Hope is willing to leave unanswered questions unanswered and unknown futures unknown. Hope makes you see God’s guiding hand not only in the gentle and pleasant moments but also in the shadows of disappointment and darkness.” (p.60)
In God, there is hope even on the worst or the best of days. For that I am truly grateful.
Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on God’s Grace to be given you … (I Peter 1:13)