“Shelly!” I heard the concern in my friend’s voice as she spoke.
“_____, just tried to commit suicide. I just wanted you to know so you could pray. I’ll let you know when I know more.”
As we discussed a few of the possible reasons why, all I could think about was the conversation I’d had with this young lady just a couple of weeks before.
It was a divine appointment and God’s perfect timing as we discussed her future and God along with her fears and struggles. The opportunity to pursue her dreams was right in front of her, but she knew that her issues with drugs and alcohol could ruin it all.
What had caused this young lady to come to this point?
She had resorted to drinking. I’m sure sometime in the middle of it all, it dawned on her that she had just ruined the opportunity in front of her. And, for a young adult whose life hasn’t brought about many opportunities like this, it was overwhelming to think she had sabotaged her own future. She was overtaken with hopelessness.
Sadly, this is not an uncommon story.
Many, just like this young woman, are searching for hope but masking the ache of its void with temporary numbing agents.
In dealing with some of my own issues of childhood abuse, I came across the book The Wounded Heart by Dan B. Allender. What he had to say, I believe applies to the vast majority of people, victim or not, Christ follower or not.
We all have our own issues.
We all have our own wounds.
And, we are all on a continual quest to know hope and its source.
However, as Allender says, it is the enemy’s work to deceive us all about the true nature of God.
Through our experiences and circumstances it’s easy to blame God, claim He’s not good because He “looked the other way,” or because something bad happened believe He can’t be trusted.
Where, then, do we look for Hope if we don’t trust its source?
Even those of us who know Christ, are prone to search for hope in the idols of independence, wealth, and even family. And, we certainly are not excluded from worshiping the gods of drugs, sex, or alcohol either.
This, my friends, is what breaks my heart.
This is where my heart aches for people, and my eyes see with the compassion of Christ.
For all of those whose hope has been lost or misguided or misplaced, whether Christ follower or not, my prayer and deepest longing is that you come to experience the healing power and life transformation that Hope provides.
In the last four months, two people I know have tried to commit suicide, a family member has gone to prison, and former student has discussed almost daily his battle in desiring the quick fix. All the result of lost, misguided, or misplaced hope.
Daily, I encounter young teens doing the same. And, sadly most of the time, the enemy wins.
How can my heart, having known their desperation and deception, and having the experienced the satisfying cure Hope has to offer, not do anything other than break as I watch them choose less than the best for themselves.
Who is searching for Hope?
Everyone, including me.
And, the closer I get to Him, the more His Hope illuminates my life from the inside out.
So, as I go to dinner to say goodbye to this young woman, I’m thankful that in searching for Hope, she’s seen His light in me. I’m grateful that Hope has not given up on her and never will. I’m confident that the same life transforming Hope that resides in me will also radically consume her and transform her life as well.
And, my heart’s cry for her is the same as it is for many, maybe even you.
Stop trying to wash your wounds.
The infection is much deeper than you realize.
Your desire for a quick cure is just as deep as your desire for heaven.
Please don’t take the cheap cure and miss the path to a lasting taste of heaven and the Hope that resides there. (Prayer is a rewording of Allender’s words from The Wounded Heart)
For those of us who know Hope, there is always some area of our lives where we are in the “searching” phase. Where do you need to find Hope?
And even when we are searching for hope, we are called to be bearers of Hope. Are you connected to the source? Have you flipped the switch to leave the porch light on?
What about you?
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