"Be of good courage,And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD." Psalm 31:24
"Why are you cast down, O my soul?And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance." Psalm 42:5
You know how when you're on the other side of something you can look back and see the reality of what was going on? That's where I am after this last weekend. It was a weekend that I had no expectations for- and I suppose I should have. We had a prayer meeting at our church this weekend, basically a weekend-long meeting to spend time praying for each other, our state, our country, and to learn the tools for effective prayer as well. And that was what I was expecting- a weekend in prayer. I had things to tend to with the kids, so I was in and out for some of it, but when I was there... well, it wasn't just a prayer meeting, as I had anticipated. There was a whole lot of good teaching, and I came away from this weekend just completely blessed and encouraged. (Though, I did feel a little bad for going into the weekend thinking that it wasn't going to be anything special.)
The thing is, as I look back over the last few months- especially the month of March, I have to tell you, I can turn around and look and see how the devil was really working overtime to try and bring my spirit down. If there was something that could go wrong in the month of March, it did go wrong. With Andy still not working, it literally became impossible to take care of some things, and all I could do is just shrug and worry about paying it later. The whole family went through a round of the flu- of which I was hit the worst, having to deal with it for over two full weeks. We had a peek at spring, and then just like that we got another round of a winter storm and cold that just totally affected my thoughts about the joys of spring. Spring? We were still getting blizzards, where was the joy in that? It just was a horrible, horrible month, and the thing is, at the beginning of it, I felt good about March. Someone had used the term "March Forth" and I felt like that applied to me, that I could march forth, strong in the Lord and know that He would take care of us in an awesome way, and once I had that mindset, everything just started to crumble.
I can see that now. I can see the poor attitude I had for much of the month- I can see how I was almost teetering on the edge of despair- I really did not want to leave home for anything, I didn't want to go to church, didn't want to take the kids to dance, I just wanted to curl up and sleep.
Thank God for hope. As the old poem says "Hope Springs Eternal", and just when I was at the point where I just thought maybe it was time for us to do some suffering for Jesus- maybe all the good things and the promises that we've been hearing just aren't going to happen. But then I spent some time with Him this weekend, and I just felt like He was a Father, holding out his hand and saying "It's really going to be all right." And just like that, that nearly-broken spirit was put back together, and I have renewed hope. I have renewed hope that God truly does have a plan, and that ALL THINGS work together for good.
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
Sometimes, maybe we get to that bottom-ness so that we have to look up- so that we have to take that time to remind ourselves that the only way up is to lift our hands towards heaven and say "Abba, Father."
Anyway, this morning I have a renewed sense of hope, and a renewed sense of how much God loves me, and how much God loves my family. And that same hope? It's for you, too. God sees the trials and the cries of His children,and all we need to do is turn to Him, and trust that He will show us the correct path to work things out. I trust in Him, and I have hope. I have great Hope in the one who created the universe.