Olivia in Faces of Courage searched for hope. Her circumstances were often frightening and dire, but she clung to hope.
Today, I’d like to share a devotion from my book Courage for Your Everyday Life – a Faces of Courage Devotional that speaks of hope.
Loneliness, Hope, and Joy
It was as if she were in some sort of single-seat bubble. Teresa was alone, and no one was allowed in.
Yet, outside that bubble, here in her own living room, her husband, three children, parents, and a dozen other family members and friends surrounded her.
The kids played ping pong with their cousins.
Wes—she couldn’t have wished for a more devoted husband—and her brother cheered at the TV screen for their favorite basketball team.
The rattling of pots and pans and laughter from the kitchen meant her mom, dad, and sister-in-law were cooking one of their fabulous dinners. The spicy aroma of chili powder and the sizzle of fajitas on the grill—her favorites—didn’t entice her today.
“Hi, honey. Did you see that score? Can I get you anything? Need more to drink?” Even amidst March Madness, Wes was there for her.
“No. I’m good. Thanks. But yeah the team’s really scoring today.” Had she seen any of the game? Teresa didn’t think so.
Wes kissed her forehead. “Okay. But you’ll let me know if you need something, right?”
“Hey, Teresa! How ya feeling? Here. Sample this spinach dip I’m making.” Her sister-in-law held out a small plate with French bread and a mound of the warm, Parmesan-scented dip.
“Mom! Did you see how I slammed that serve?” They had nicknamed their eldest son Mr. Competition.
Teresa waved. That’s all she could muster right now.
Every three or four minutes, someone else dropped by her chair, chatted, then asked if she needed anything.
Yet, she was inside the bubble. Why had her cancer diagnosis relegated her to this lonely spot?
Despite their love, who could relate to her? No one in the room had experienced any serious health problems. Except her Dad, whose heart attack five years ago had been a wake-up call and set him on a healthier life track. But that was his experience.
When it came down to the nitty-gritty, she was alone.
Lord, am I alone? Are you with me? I don’t feel you here.
She’d prayed this prayer over and over again in the last month. But where was her answer? Was there any hope?
Her mom sat on the stool next to her and patted her hand. “Hey, love. I have something for you.” From her ever-present cloth bag, her mom removed a book and handed it to her. “It’s a devotional for cancer patients. I thought it might bring you some comfort. I better go check on dinner.”
Teresa thumbed through the little book. “You Are Not Alone” flashed from a page. She stopped to read the verse. “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5 ESV).
Joy wrapped around her heart at these simple but powerful words.
She flipped more pages and discovered another gem, “The Source of Our Hope.”
Not alone! Her Lord was with her and was the source of her joy, peace, and hope.
Teresa stroked the leather cover then cradled the gift close to her. The Lord had sent her a precious reminder, although she was sure she’d have to read the words each day, many times. Over and over again.
Thank you, Lord!
Cheering from the living room couch brought on her first real smile of the day. The kids’ joy at playing was now her joy. Oh, and that aroma from the kitchen!
Was dinner ready yet?
When in a difficult situation, we often feel lonely, no matter how many loved ones surround us. It is good to remember no matter what, we are not really alone. The Lord is with us always. We may have to find that intersection of faith and grit to courageously remind ourselves of his promises—over and over again. But that’s okay. He doesn’t mind.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NLT)
Lord, overflow my spirit with joy, peace, and confident hope.
Hope. Regardless of our circumstances, we have hope when we have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.
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