The voice of hopelessness is a subtle one.
Sometimes it’s the only voice we recognize, because it’s all we’ve ever known.
I was praying for a friend lately and the Holy Spirit showed me a picture of a beautiful canary. Bright yellow, sunshiney in color.
It was the perfect picture of her.
She is pure light and laughter.
Her life is this ridiculously giddy song of joy – you can’t help but love to be around her.
But this beautiful canary was behind the bars of a bird cage. The door was opened and the canary could have flown out – could have been free but had been a prisoner for so long she didn’t realize that her freedom was just steps away.
And God spoke to my heart, she is free but she doesn’t believe it.
No one can force her out of the cage without causing trauma.
It broke my heart. There was nothing I could say or do.
She thinks God has abandoned her and her family.
And they are hurting.
They have given up hope.
It made me realize the importance of nurturing hope and keeping it alive for ourselves and others.
But how do you nurture a thing like hope?
(It should be noted that I’ve successfully killed off every living plant in our house except one and that’s only because I’m not allowed to water it, touch it, or talk to it.)
I think I’ve found the secret to keeping hope alive though. . . turning towards God with our disappointments.
Disappointment is a hope-killer.
Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick,
but a sudden good break can turn life around.
Proverbs 13:12 (MSG)
Its a crucial thing to learn if we’re ever going to hold on to hope.
What does that even look like though to turn to God with our disappointments?
I can only tell you what it looks like in my life. And I’m only recently learning how to do this.
It looks like a toddler having a bad day.
There’s alot of pouring one’s heart out in tears and “I don’t understands”, but there is something really healing about it. God’s presence has never failed to meet me in my honest moments of coming to him with emotional scraped knees. He always holds me and tells me it will be okay – even if he doesn’t explain why it happened in the first place.
But it’s done something for my hope – something amazing.
It’s kept it alive, which is better than our former houseplants can say.
As for my friend, the beautiful yellow canary?
God always hopes and he hasn’t given up on her. . . it is just going to take a little longer to coax her out of her cage.
He is our hope when we’ve run out.
Thank God for God.
For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.
Jeremiah 29:11 (The Amplified)