Is hope enough?
Learning to cherish the gift of God’s presence
Today I (Tamitha) heard the story of a family in our ministry that troubled me. This mom and her 3 young kids returned home one day to find themselves locked out. The father had brought a new girlfriend to live with him and wouldn’t even allow his kids to get their things from inside the house. All we could do for this family is provide a simple basket of food, share God’s love, and be present with them.
Sometimes, we hear stories like this and begin to wonder “why?” or “where is God in this?”. That’s OK. He knows it is our human tendency to question and I think He’s ok with that. His reply often comes in unexpected ways, but it always reminds us that He is good and that He is our source of strength. I strive to remember that my circumstances and God’s goodness are mutually exclusive. God’s coming to my rescue may not always look the way I wish it would.
Stories like this mom’s are common in our ministry context, as is domestic violence and sex abuse. As a minister, I tend to feel inadequate to help them in their time of need. In times like these, I try to focus on the important truth that, “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him.:” (Nahum 1:7).
Hope makes a difference. Psychology has identified hope as a determining factor for the success of children who grow up in poverty. One author describes hope as, “a match in a dark tunnel, a moment of light, just enough to reveal the path ahead and ultimately the way out.” God’s Word teaches that hope in Him is a sure thing and that this hope in God can be our anchor in times of trouble.
In the book of Ruth, we see that Naomi is bitter, hopeless, and feeling abandoned by God after losing her husband and sons. We begin to see glimmers of hope as Ruth decides to accompany Naomi in building a new life. Naomi may have lost it all, but God gave her hope, “a match in a dark tunnel,” to propel her forward. Later, we cheer with joy when we see the hope of full restoration as Boaz takes care of Ruth and Naomi and they build a new family.
Let us all cling to the hope anchored in God in moments of trouble and questioning and to cherish the tremendous gift of God’s presence. We are NOT alone. We are loved and strengthened, and He is with us. The same is true for this precious, hurting family in a little town, outside Quito, Ecuador.