Charles Barkley once said “Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train.” We have all experienced times when we have felt hopeful. We have all felt helpless. I can remember a few situations in my life where I have felt hopeless. People commonly pick on teenagers for acting like every negative thing that happens is the end of the world. In reality, the reason children worry so intensely is because they lack perspective. Parents don’t worry about the same things as their children because they have a perspective that comes from years of experience and dealing with problems in their life.
Children aren’t the only ones that sometimes lack perspective. Crazy and tragic things happen to people of all ages all of the time. Sometimes it’s minor things, like getting a flat tire. Sometimes it’s big things, like sickness or even death of a loved one. Those are not the things that define you. The decisions you make when confronted with those crazy and tragic events in your life are what define you.
When Benjamin Franklin was 17, he ran away from his Boston home to Philadelphia to start his own life. The only money he had was a Dutch dollar and copper shilling. This, he gave to the owner of the boat that brought him to Philly. Walking into a nearby bakery, Franklin made polite conversation with the store owner and, in return, received three large loaves of bread. Carrying one under each arm and one in his mouth, he happened upon a woman and child in need of food. Despite his current situation, Franklin promptly handed over his two remaining loaves. When we lose hope, we sometimes can let it cloud what is right and wrong. We can’t stop being generous just because we don’t have very much. We must not let desperate times define our morals.
The Bible says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Like I said earlier, we have all felt heart-sick in times of hopelessness. So, what do we do when we feel heart-sick? As always, we can find our answer in scripture. First, we have to remember that “With God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26). No matter how hopeless things seem, we can always trust in God’s steadfast love and mercy. We need look no further than Sarah who “By faith… being past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered Him faithful who had made the promise”- (Hebrews 11:11).
Lastly, we must be willing to do things God’s way. Sometimes, holding to our principles and being honest, generous and meek are not the type of things that always seem to be the best option. Consider the words of David in Psalm 41:1-2, “Blessed is he who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive, and he will be blessed on the earth; You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.” God looks out for the people who do His will. This doesn’t mean bad things will never happen to you. It means that God is in control and that He has a perspective that we can’t even imagine.