Today’s Author: Julene Hawkins
Lately, I have been searching for any shred of hope the world has left to offer. I feel frustrated in my attempts as life feels like a cycle of never-ending, sad news. Tornado devastation in Kentucky, a new COVID variant, another school shooting, the death of a childhood friend’s parent, seasonal depression, increased cases of death by suicide, lack of access to health care for too many people, the list goes on and on. Somedays I find myself having to use every ounce of courage to just get out of bed in the morning. Grief consumes me and I often wonder how long a person can tread water before being pulled under. I used to think that hope alone was the answer. If I could just be more optimistic and more hopeful, then I could be resilient to grief. However, in the words of Christine Chappell, “hope without grief is unsustainable”.
Chappell writes, “Hope is not meant to cancel out our griefs and sorrows, but is meant to sustain and comfort us in them and ultimately redeem us from them.” Grief is an inevitable part of life and hope alone cannot save us from pain and heartbreak. However, hope in the midst of grief allows us to be fully present in our lives and with God. To know that God weeps with us and provides us the strength to continue on simultaneously. So, whatever you may be grieving at this time, know that God’s grace and love for you reach you in despair and joy and that God is with you always.
So you have pain now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. John 16:22 NRSV
God of healing, you know our struggles. We come to You filled with hurt, sadness, and even anger as we grief the tragedies laid before us. We give thanks for your promises of comfort in the midst of grief. We pray for those who grieve the loss of loved ones. We pray for our families. We pray for our neighbors. We pray for the safety of all your people. God, be with those who are scared and alone and wrap them in your wide embrace. Release us to be beacons of hope to those who are struggling and help us to know that we are never alone. Amen.
Chappell, Christine. “Daily Devotion – Engaging Grief with Hope.” Devotable, 29 Aug. 2019, https://devotableapp.com/daily-devotion-engaging-grief-with-hope/.
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