Hope in the Hopeless

The score was 0-0. My soccer team had been fighting so hard offensively to score a goal. We made some great corner kicks and continuously passed the ball around amongst my team members, but we just could not seem to kick the ball beyond the opposing goalie. It appeared very hopeless. Then, a breakthrough. Starting the play, I saw a direct opening within the opposing team and even beyond into the goal area. Thus, I made a hard and fast kick straight for the goal and…SCORE!!!

In this situation, my team was able to find hope in the hopeless. However, there are many times in our lives—personally and professionally—when hope cannot be found. What do we do then?

It reminds me of a set of events that occurred several years ago. While attending graduate school to obtain my masters degree, a few of my peers questioned me about seeking God for my physical healing and even began to pray accordingly. Having wrestled with the Lord regarding His plan with my disability and having prayed this prayer before on my own, I allowed these students to pray for this miracle, but deep in my heart and with much disappointment, I knew that the Lord would not grant this desire—for He had other plans.

One of these plans unfolded at the beginning of my chaplaincy training when I ministered to a mother of a baby that had both physical and mental challenges. After having established a relationship with this mother through a multitude of visits, she shared how her child was born with club feet.

Standing before her, I remarked, “I was born with club feet.”

“Really?!” she replied with excitement, “And you can even walk, too!”

“Yes,” I said, “Through surgery and physical therapy, I did learn how to walk by the age of two.”

Reflecting on this, if I had received my original wish for ultimate healing, I may not have connected with this woman as well as I did, offering a glimmer of hope for her baby’s future. Thus, when I journey through moments of my perception of hopelessness, I have to trust that I will find hope in the Lord in all circumstances, no matter the outcome and when it happens.

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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