What I can’t do today, or any day, is think of all the things I could be doing if I didn’t have the pain. What I have to do is think of all the things that I can do. I can be grateful. I can be happy. I can be patient with myself and others. There a lot of CANS.
But there is a BIG CANNOT. I cannot give up my hope. And if I don’t give it up, no one can take that away from me.
Hope is a tangible force in my life, not based on circumstances or tied to any one person. It is the grip that I have on God, and that He has on me.
People will let me down. I will let myself down. My body certainly lets me down. But I am not dependent upon people, myself or my body. I am dependent upon hope and of course faith, but even faith is built up by hope.
Hope killers are thoughts such as, “What have you done for me lately?” – Yeah, not even a great song, but many people choose to sing it every day – repeating in their minds and to others about how people and professionals have let them down.
Other hope killers include comparing our situation to others and focusing on what we cannot do.
My hope killer mentality could go something like this: I can’t sit without pain. I can’t stand without pain. I can’t breathe without pain. Doctors make me wait in their waiting rooms up to 3.5 hours. And they don’t know what to do when they do see me. We’ve tried everything.
I don’t know why anyone would choose that line of thinking and give away his/her hope when there is an option and a better way!
God’s love toward me gives me the hope that He will get me through each day (with flying colors regardless of pain), no matter what the day may bring. Among other things my hope is fed daily in hearing the birds sing, seeing the blue sky, experiencing the kindness of others, letting gratefulness fill my heart and delving into Truth.
And for me, my hope is often fed ironically by how I treat people. I do not have control over the pain, but I do have control over my responses to other humans.
Mostly people want love. They need patience, kindness and acceptance. The past and present have cause many to be calloused, jaded, rough toward others. Those are the very people who need to be loved.
Am I a doormat? No. But part of keeping my hope and loving others was giving up my need to prove myself to be right or better or smarter…
On my worst days I ask God to help me find someone to be kind to. The grocery store provides many “going through the motions,” lonely, hurt people. Just going there and picking up a conversation can make someone’s day. Hope grows! I can do that!
Yes, these appear to be minute things in the face of owning a multi-million dollar company and influencing thousands of people. But are they? It isn’t how much I’ve been given that brings me hope and joy, it’s what I do with what I have been given…
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)