Looking for Hope in All the Wrong Places

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The need for hope is greater than ever. And, for those of us who still cling to it, we need to share it freely and regularly with those in need.

Feeling down lately? Just weary of the stories of despair and disaster in the news, looking…longing for some good, uplifting and encouraging news to re-energize your day? Are you looking for Hope in all the wrong places?

One morning on my way to work, I heard on the radio about a mother who intentionally drove her mini-van and three of her four children into the Hudson River drowning them all.

The sadness, the madness, the absolute desperation of life to bring her to take such an act over any other option…brought me to tears. I considered numbly…how much despair and hopelessness must have been relentlessly building up in her until she having found no other solution, chose death over life.

Millions struggle from a lack of hope, and desperately try to find it where they can. Some believe in the vision of our government, or in the value of the stock market or in personal relationships, careers or even their body size. They anxiously look forward to a better day, a brighter future. The elusive end of the rainbow is the grand vision of their lives…but if that hope ever really, seriously fades, it gets dark and fast.

When we truly lose our belief in a happier tomorrow, what then? Who or where can we turn to for Hope? Its clear this tragic young mother “felt” she had no one or nothing to live for and she assumed her kids' futures would be as bleak as her own. As an extreme act, her behavior is likely linked to her mental and chemical health and a hundred other things, but it serves to illustrate the point.

The need for Hope is greater than ever… and for those of us who still cling to it, we need to share it freely and regularly with those in need. It's only in the sharing that HOPE grows…

The irony is…in the midst of taking the time to look and help and love those who are fading in our own back yards…we actually regain our own personal hope and purpose and spark for life. So, in serving others we are refreshed, in giving of ourselves…we are blessed and in the outward gaze of our eye we forget the pain and worry and sadness that looms over us and we replace its darkness with the light of genuine life and love and HOPE.

Jesus knew that well. He taught his disciples (the twelve with him in Galilee and now all who take His name as their own) to live this way. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28 ESV)

So, my encouragement to myself and to you is this…look around you (Brad)…What about the single parent waitress with two jobs and no sleep? Or maybe the dad who can’t seem to find enough time to work and eat and pay the mortgage, let alone love his family? Or the Pastor or fellow parent who always volunteers and never gets a break for themselves, or the lonely in your world who just never seem to find a friend?

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