Lighting a Candle in Your Family's Darkness


"Mama, one of the things that most distinguishes you is that you are always a hopeful person. No matter what would happen, you always pointed us to hope."

How surprised I was to hear this, as I have often felt that I was a struggler through the many challenges that threatened to overcome us in our lives.

Many years ago, I realized that children long to have a happy mother. Our children are growing up in a time when media spreads the gloom and doom of catastrophes, fears and threats. When the mama spreads light and thankfulness--and hope in the darkness, then children feel secure and safe. But when a mama lives darkly, the children harbor fear, insecurity and blame themselves for parent's being angry or sad. Hope is not natural--it is supernatural. Hope comes welling up from deep inside because of a belief that God is good. That He will win in the end. That there is always hope when God is present.

Women who choose hope and who choose to trust God are those who, instead of cursing the darkness, light a candle. But it is a choice of the will. Hope is not a feeling, it is a commitment to hold fast to what scripture reminds us is true about God.

Knowing scripture, pondering and taking it into your soul, is what gives each of us fuel to live the Christian life, as we listen to the Holy Spirit guide us through the wisdom we have learned. The only way to live well is to live in fellowship with God. Nothing else will satisfy.

We live in an imperfect world filled with disappointments, devastation, and difficulty. Without hope, our lives can feel absolutely purposeless sometimes. In my own life, I have struggled with hardships I never could have seen coming. My heart has been broken, my faith has been tested, and I have had to push myself in ways that I couldn't have imagined. Circumstances will come our way, and we will always have a choice to make. We can choose to give up, or we can choose hope.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." -Romans 15:13

Oh to allow the Holy Spirit to fill me to overflowing with hope.

Hope it not just wishful thinking. Hope is an assurance that our king has ultimately won the raging battle. Hope teaches us that this is the broken place where we have the honor of believing Him who is fighting on our behalf.

Hope anchors the soul and keeps us grounded.

"This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil." (Hebrews 6:19).

When we have nothing else to rely on, our hope in God is what connects us to what is true. As Romans 15:13, above,  tells us, when we put our trust in God, we can overflow with hope. This hope from the Holy Spirit is such a powerful entity, it can make us truly unstoppable.

But faith is a choice that requires us to relinquish our fears, doubts and worries into the hands of God--like a child who says, "I will trust my mama and daddy because I know they are good and reliable." So we say, I will give this into His hands because I know He is good and loving and reliable.

Hope gives us the strength to take on our future. Hope can cure the incurable. No circumstance, no problem, no issue, no devastation is too large or too difficult for God to take on. However, we have to choose this hope. We must receive it. Sometimes, life can beat us down and make us feel absolutely defeated. But when we choose to carry the hope God has given us, we are able to overcome anything.

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for,  (the conviction of things not seen.) Hebrews 11:1

My hope rests in God's character and ability to see me through. He who answers prayer. He who is always good. He who has overcome the world. He who has forgiven every sin. He who will never leave me or forsake me. I can leave my issues in the file drawer of heaven and know that He has the ability to work them out and to cause, "all things to work together for the good for them who love Him."

The God-given gift of hope is the best possible medicine for any hardship in life. My hope says that I am willing to wait on God's timing, God's way and God's will with a belief that I will look back and be amazed at the ways He showed his faithfulness. My hope is what carried me through health issues, struggles in my family, going five years without a salary, and so much more. Hope is the physician of each misery, and God has given us this gift to heal us from our pasts so that we may have a future that is full of joy and light.

Do your children watch you in your tests of faith and see you walking in hope and trust as an example to them of how they will need to live their adult lives?

Precious Heavenly Father,

I humbly acknowledge that you are faithful and that you see me and know my battles. Lord, I want to choose to be a person of hope because of my faith in you. Please take my burdens into your own hands, and through the Holy Spirit, restore my heart to peace. Let my choice to praise you please you, because my spiritual service of worship is to hope in you each day. Thank you for your patience and love for me. I love you, too, sweet Lord.