I ask the question with the following scripture in mind:
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. — Proverbs 13:12 –
I’m not speaking to those who have it all together — or like to think they do. I’m not speaking to those who have had their dreams and hopes come to pass. This message is not for those who have a support group. Nor is it for those who have a church or a pastor who they can run to for some kind of instant edification. No, I am speaking to those like myself who have had their hopes put off, delayed and even at times, seem/feel forgotten and not cared for by God — even though we know we have not. I speak to those of us who often times find ourselves alone with our thoughts.
The past few years have brought many changes to my life. One of those changes is coming to the conclusion that aging gracefully is not one of my strong points. Seeing the things I had once hoped for — no longer within my grasp — has left me at times feeling empty, useless.
One of my greatest dreams was to be a mother. That hope forever shattered now at soon to be 56 years old, is something I still question why God never allowed.
Sometimes I even get a little bit bitter. For over two decades, I have questioned why I have had to deal with on going sicknesses with loved ones — at times being the care taker — when others had the opportunity of raising a family. Those same people now with grand children.
Now I face my own aging process. Dealing with health issues which sometimes makes it hard to think, to get motivated, to remember, to even just get up and face another day.
So many times we have heard, hang on. Just hang on to God! For me the past few years as I have been trying to hang on to God, the words have rung hollow; empty, void of reason and understanding when due to some of life’s challenges, it has taken everything I have just to have a somewhat pleasant day. One where I’m not making my husband or anyone else around me miserable. When you have lost everything or darn near lost everything, you find the things you once deemed important, are no more worthy of the quest of trying to hang on. It takes energy to hang on to something. It takes stamina. What about when that strength and energy is gone?
Yes, what about it? More than likely you will not be one where others are using you as a fine example of what hanging on to the Lord looks like. Rather, they just might use you as an example (in the secrecy of their heart) as one who has given up, no hope, a real downer. *Sigh* I can say it because I’ve been there and done it to others. My senses have become very fine-tuned in knowing how others perceive me. Perhaps it is because I have made myself so transparent at times. Perhaps too transparent. That too takes energy and stamina. I believe when we come to the end of that, it is one of being in an almost state of apathy. For it takes one’s emotional/mental resources to even care.
The other morning as I laid in bed, I began to think, another day of pain and fatique ahead. I know Lord, I’m suppose to be thankful. It is hard to be thankful when I can barely get my chores done, barely function and never want to leave the house. And to think I have to hang on to You is just one more tiresome chore. Please forgive me, Lord.
Picture with me if you will, a person hanging off a cleft. They have been battered in so many ways, broken bones, bruises, bloody, etc. They have no strength. Now picture someone with great strength grasping them by the hand and saying, “Hang on.”
Hang on? When you have no strength? Are you kidding me? I don’t know about you, but I find it would be cruel to expect someone who has lost all strength and ability, to hang on, when the One with all the power has the ability to pull you up.
Another example: Picture a person deep in water, drowning. Someone throws them a life jacket. But the person has no strength to grasp hold. A life jacket just is not going to be enough. It would take someone fearless and mighty to jump in and save the person.
If neither of those two examples were able to paint the picture for you, then how about this one: A little sheep battered and bruised with the shepherd telling it, “hang on to me.” Think it would happen that way? Hardly. That Shepherd picks up the little sheep and carries it.
Face it: we all have been told at one time or another, “just think positive.” Really? As if thinking positive thinking alone is enough to change circumstances? I don’t think so. Sometimes life deals blows. And whether there is any truth in the science or not, some of us are not born with the positive gene. So, we spin our wheels just trying a little bit harder. After all, isn’t that what everyone around us wants us to do? To just pick ourselves up by the boot strap and go on. I have learned that unless you have some kind of worth, no one really wants to be around you. That worth meaning the ability to make others smile and laugh, the ability to sing a song or bless whenever you can.
I have no hopes in plans or/and dreams anymore. None whatsoever. Dreams I had in my youth are now just ghosts. Phantoms that remind me of many failures through out life. But it does not matter. The only hope I have and focus on anymore, is a hope in God. I no longer try and hang on to Him. I trust that He is hanging on to me.
For in and and of ourselves, we are worth nothing. We can do nothing without Jesus. In Him we live and move and have our being. Whatever that may be for any of us. None of us can take any kind of credit for anything. It all goes back to the mercy of God.
I trust He is hanging on to you.