Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Finding Hope in the Midst of Difficulty

Lately my family has taken to calling me a Negative Nancy. 

I'm not naturally a happy, cheerful person in the best of the times.  And the worst of times bring out my worst.  

No one has ever accused me of being too happy.  And when life is tough, it's even harder.

Being positive in the midst of life's difficulties does not come easily to me.

Or at least it doesn't in certain situations.

I'm actually pretty good at taking certain situations in stride.

That's because sometimes hope is easy to find.  We know that eventually the snow will melt and spring will come and things will warm up. We know that no woman has ever been pregnant forever.  We know that eventually a child will sleep through the night or potty-train. We know that a broken bone will heal or that more likely than not, a child will recover from a seemingly never ending snot-fest of a cold. 

But what about harder situations? Where there is no easy end in sight? What about when hope is harder to come by?  Many times people aren't healed of their disease.  The unemployed don't find good jobs.  Poor people remain poor. The infertile don't get a baby. 

Sometimes life is nothing more than a serious of dashed hopes and fallen expectations. 

Sometimes it's easier to stop hoping. 

Yet, hope is the only thing that sustains us. 

The opposite of hope is despair.   And while despair is especially tempting for my melancholic personality, it's not a healthy or fun place to live.

So, the only other choice is to hold onto hope..as tenuous as that grasp may be.
And if there is no hope in this life, as we can at least have hope in the afterlife. And THAT is sometimes the ONLY thing that sustains us when life is especially difficult.   

So this Lent...my ONE goal is to pray more and find hope. And if I can't find hope in this life, at least I can find hope in the next. 

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