How many times have you heard yourself say something is “hopeless”?
Since it has been said that confession is good for the soul, I confess that I’ve fallen into that trap of believing and declaring a situation to be “hopeless.” There have been times in life that I have felt utterly and completely down and out and wanted to throw in the towel.
If you’ve ever dabbled in learning a foreign language you know what I mean. No amount of listening to audio recordings or studying a book can magically plant a new language into your mouth. It takes hard work that, for a time, doesn’t seem to pay off. Day in, day out, week in, week out, month in, month out, it seems no progress has been made in your valiant attempt to learn and understand a new language.
I remember each time I’ve studied a language, there were months of “I don’t get it” before something clicked. The first language we learned in 1987 was Swahili and my “aha moment” took longer to come than with subsequent languages I have learned. I had almost given up at one point when, while I was in the market frantically flipping through the pages in my dictionary in another attempt to find a word for “banana.” I had flipped through my dictionary each time I had gone to the market to find the word for banana. In effect, I had tried to say banana “bunches” of times! (Ok, there’s my attempt at a play on words…) My dictionary was worn, why wouldn’t “banana” come out of my mouth after having studied it, said it, written it, and looked for it in my dictionary so many times?
Tears stung the backs of my eyes in embarrassment as the ladies in the market, who knew me after several months of my visiting them, chuckled at my forgetfulness. Banana, banana, banana… Suddenly, through the tears and chuckles of onlookers a word came to my mind: “ndizi.” My “aha” moment! And the words for “I want” accompanied it! “Nataka!” I said, “Nataka ndizi!” How many times I said it I don’t know. A personal victory!!! I ran home with smiles and lots of ndizi!
When we surrender our lives to God, the good news is that nothing is hopeless nor are we helpless.
Romans 4:18 ESV “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed.”
Living as children of God means living in His hope – and this hope we live in isn’t like the hope we have when trying out a new cake recipe, “I hope this works!”
There are times when things don’t work as we have foreseen; things turn out very differently. However, in the grand scheme of things, God has a plan in mind. What Satan throws our way to destroy us, God turns around and we ultimately have that “aha moment” when we understand more was at stake than learning how to say “banana.”
It may seem to you today that all hope is lost, 2016 was a difficult year and you have little hope that 2017 will be any better. Let me encourage you, all is not lost. Take what little hope you have and grab your Book of meanings, the Bible, and keep on studying it. One day the answer will dawn – and you’ll go running home, arms full of blessings.
“Faith is to believe what you do not yet see; the reward for this faith is to see what you believe.” Augustine