There’s plenty about life that can keep us looking down. And there’s an awful lot we deal with that makes us look around, trying to find something better. But we, as women of God, can have hope all the time, no matter what! When we have hope, we are always looking up – not looking down, and not looking around for something different.
I want to be a woman who looks up, and I know you do too. So sister, here are three things you’ll see when you look up.
Minda Cox was a budding artist. She cradles a brush between her chin and shoulder, because she was born with no arms. She painted with such talent and skill that her art was worthy of its own showing. Her artistry is impressive, but what really inspired me was a list her mom found in her backpack when she was in fourth grade. It contained 127 things she would do if she had arms or legs.
Minda’s list helps me broaden my view of my life’s circumstances. I may not be able to see, but I can use my arms and hands to set my own alarm clock and hug my kids. I may be in physical darkness, but I can walk where there aren’t sidewalks, kneel in prayer, and jump for joy. I have losses for sure. But I also have many gains. And so do you. When we look up, we broaden our view and are able to see that our losses remind us of all that we have received.
Difficulties can look awfully big, and they will try to stare you down and force you to despair. But you don’t have to let them.
So put hope to work, my friend, and look around. Look up. You’ll discover that there’s much more to life than the cloud that hangs over your head.
The most hopeful people I know are those who place their trust in God. Liberated from the need to always be in control, they are able to rest in Him rather than wrestle with the difficulties in this life. They don’t become hopeless because their hope is in God, not in themselves or their circumstances changing. I have hope even in blindness because I’m learning to focus on the goodness of God.
God is bigger than your problem and bigger than your perception of your problem. I love the words God spoke to tiny Judah at a time when their enemies were great, their future was uncertain, and their faith was in tatters:
Was my arm too short to ransom you?
Do I lack the strength to rescue you?… (Isaiah 50:2)
Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save,
nor his ear too dull to hear. (Isaiah 59:1)
Your difficulties may seem higher than you can see, deeper than you can tunnel beneath, and wider than you can walk around. Nevertheless, the arm of the Lord is never too short to grip you by the hand and take you over, under, around, or through any difficulty that life brings to your doorstep.
Bruce was severely wounded by a gunshot as a young man. As a result, he was a quadriplegic. His wife, Jeannie, told me about him. She spoke with such admiration of her husband’s strength and unshakeable hope. She told me that over the years, Bruce had heard many kind and empathetic remarks, such as “I bet you can’t wait to get to heaven so you can walk.”
Bruce’s response reveals where he was looking. “I’m not so interested in getting to heaven so I can walk or run or jump. I long for heaven because there I can kneel.”
Hope always seems to involve waiting, longing. Waiting is often depleting and longing can be dissatisfying, can’t it? It’s all a matter of where we put our hope. If our hope is in right circumstances, life will always feel wrong, for it has more than its fair share of disappointments and struggles. But when hope is grounded in someplace better than here, our view of this life diminishes.
What if, like Bruce, your greatest hope was to kneel in heaven someday? You would be strengthened and never disappointed because your ultimate hope would be in a reality beyond the shifting, drifting situations of this uncertain life. I want that, don’t you?
Lord, thank You for the reminder that our hope is always in you. Help us to look past our circumstances to You and You alone. We trust You with everything, Lord. Amen.
What circumstance are you trusting God with today? Share in the comments below, and let’s pray and encourage each other.
Do you want to learn more about telling your soul to hope in God in the midst of life’s difficulties? My recent books, Me, Myself, & Lies and Me, Myself, & Lies for Young Women share how I found real peace by having healthy self-talk – and how you can, too. Learn more at MeMyselfandLies.us.