Whatever You Do, Let Them See Your Hope

Despite the not-so-uncommon view that the hope of this world is found in politics or prosperity or possessions, one brush with eternity, and your perspective can change in a heartbeat.

Hope has a name:

His name is Jesus.

When our youngest was in junior high, he started complaining about pain in the side of his head.  After we realized this was not just a case of pre-teen acne, we took him to our doctor who sent him for an MRI.  In a relatively short time our family doctor called us to say that he wanted to stop by to tell us the results of the test in person.

“I have good news and bad news.”

While pre-diagnosis panic set in, the reality that our doctor was making a house call made our heart skip a beat in anxious anticipation.  After sitting us down and assuring us that his initial impression was much more serious than the MRI would reveal, there was still a concern that needed to be addressed immediately.

The reality was that our son had a tumor growing in his skull, and it would need surgery immediately to prevent further damage.  The good news was that it hadn’t reached his brain yet, so his prognosis was much better because we had taken him in sooner rather than later.

While initial shock wore off, the immediate course of action was laid out and we faced decisions for his treatment–but not before we took it all to the Lord in prayer.  While it would be easy to assume that our first response would be something different, I assure you we weren’t checking to see if we had enough money in our bank account for a hospital bill and we didn’t immediately get on the phone to find out who the very best surgeon in the area was–

those were only secondary to the one thing we needed the most–HOPE.

Knowing that God had created him and that God could heal him, we turned to the source of our hope, and prayer was the priority.  In our moment of need, everything else paled in comparison to finding the hope and healing we desperately needed from God for our son.

It is important for me to point out that, while there were no guarantees that God was going to “fix” this for us, we were confident that He was going to guide us in the journey, and mold our character along the way.

Parenting is hard, and prayer has got to be a crucial part of our parenting strategy.  No other self-help book or counseling session can give you the wisdom that you need for this important responsibility.  Settling into God’s presence and allowing Him to show you who He really is:  (Philippians 4:8) “True and honorable, just and loving. pure and praiseworthy…” brings life (and our relationships) into the right perspective that we need in every relationship under the sun.

Let me give you just a few simple insights into prayer.

  • Prayer should be a part of who you are.  A person of prayer sees it as a first response, not a last resort.
  • Let prayer be a comfortable place where you hang out often.  Do you know that prayer isn’t just a list of things you are thankful for and things that you are asking God for?  Prayer happens when you step out of your fleshly garment and put on a garment of praise.
  • Prayer isn’t about changing God’s mind or hoping He will hear your requests– prayer is getting into God’s presence and letting Him change your perspective. When we focus on Him we are changed.

While our circumstance might not change, our heart can.

As we see Him more clearly and know Him more intimately in prayer, we can learn to trust Him more fully.

You might be wondering, “Is there hope for my family?”  Absolutely!  “Can God heal broken relationships?”  “Does he really care about the everyday struggles I am experiencing?”  Of course He does!  Do you have a prodigal?  A troubled teen?  A defiant two-year-old?  Trust Him with those difficult situations and spend time gaining His perspective on those things that seem impossible.  And remember,  Luke 1:37 says that “nothing is impossible with God.“!

“As a mother, my job is to take care of the possible and trust God with the impossible.”  –Ruth Bell Graham

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