When Hope Seems Lost
Day 1: We Surrender
Listen to the news or scroll social media and it’s easy to see why so many people are losing hope.
Many are in the fight of their lives as they struggle to stay afloat after experiencing a major storm such as contracting Covid, divorce, loss of a family member, financial setbacks or simply exhaustion, overwhelm and profound sadness.
Storms do not discriminate. Every woman will endure at least one unexpected season in her lifetime (perhaps even more) that threatens to destroy her hope.
What do you do when you don’t know what to do? How do you hold on when it takes every ounce of strength just to get up each morning?
How do you have hope when life feels so out of control? Where do you find the energy to press on?
My husband and I aren’t sailors but we are members of a club that promotes sailing and offers a social atmosphere that’s fun and inclusive even’t for those of us who don’t sail. Thank you Jackson Yacht Club!
You can learn a lot about life in general from hanging around sailors and when they invite you out for an afternoon sail you excitedly accept knowing a water adventure awaits.
One of those invitations to sail began on a beautiful sunny day. If you live in the south you know it may be sunny one minute and storming the next. One moment you’re relaxing poolside and the next you’re running for cover from an afternoon shower.
That day we were drifting along to the sounds of Jimmy Buffet and suddenly I’m clinging to the side of the boat silently pleading for help and praying I don’t lose my lunch.
I notice our sailor friend’s only response is to calmly begin dropping the anchor then ride out the waves.
While I’m panicking he’s at peace trusting his anchor to hold the boat secure, confident the storm will subside and the sun will return. And of course it does just as he knew it would.
Oh the spiritual lessons God teaches us in the unlikeliest of places.
The writer of Hebrews tell us “ We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…”. Heb 6:19
But an anchor isn’t effective until it’s placed within the storm. Only then can it provide the security and stability it was designed for.
As women of God, our anchor is placing our hope in Him. So how do we do let down our anchor of hope? We surrender, we wait, we trust then obey.
So on Day 1 of our 5-day devotional we focus on surrendering beginning with recognizing we’re in a battle we cannot win alone.
If you’re like me, surrendering doesn’t come natural as your mind races to come up with solutions only to make emotional decisions from a place of fear which seldom ends well.
Much like the disciples, I begin to wonder if Christ is even aware of my storm brewing while completely forgetting He’s the only one who can calm the raging waters. Mark 4: 35 – 41.
It’s taken many storms in my life for me to finally realize this and I’m still learning to surrender.
And after every storm I’m still awestruck as I think “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” Mark 4:41
So when life has me clinging to the side of the boat white knuckled and paralyzed with fear, it’s here He gently reminds me to “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
David said “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
Surrendering is not denying our fears. It isn’t an act of weakness. It doesn’t mean we’re giving up or reflect a lack of faith.
It isn’t permission to be passive or complacent and doesn’t demand we dismiss our desires as we’re encouraged to “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Ps 37:4
Surrendering is however unleashing God’s strength and relinquishing control to the only One who can and will fight for us and always win. “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Ex 14:14.
So if you feel your hope slowly slipping away as you witness the storm of panic and division currently sweeping across our great nation or you’re n the middle of a personal typhoon, today I encourage you surrender. Let go and let God. You are not alone. He’s in your boat with you.
Because “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” Ps 34:14.
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. Ps 138:7.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27:1
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Pet 5:7