Sometimes life is easy. We get together with friends and before we know it, we’re homeward bound. The time spent was full of much-needed fun. Or we spend a leisurely Saturday afternoon playing games with our children or exploring a new hiking path. We may be tired afterwards, but the smiles on everyone’s faces has created memories we’ll treasure forever.
Then there’s the other days, when the cake we baked caves in the middle, or the grocery clerk glares almost daring us to smile, and a car tire blows on our way home with ice cream in the trunk. And if you’ve escaped all of these things, sometimes just watching the news is enough to wrinkle any brow with concern or perhaps outright worry.
Some days we have to dig deep to find anything to smile at. Some days we even lose our hope that things will get any better. How do we revive our hope when we’ve had a day that has only brought one discouragement after another?
Years ago, I had an aunt whose very presence brightened a room when she entered it. She’s now home with the LORD. How I wished I could bring that joy to others. There must be a way, but I was no Aunt Sarah. Yet perhaps I could do something. Where does one find hope for that kind of joy in a world with flat tires, grumpy clerks, and depressing news stories?
When I found myself in the checkout line of my grocery store with that grumpy clerk, I determined that I was going to be as kind as I possibly could be. His tone changed for the better, and then I heard him offering pleasantries to the next customer in line. When struggling with a project at home, prayer helped me see it from another angle and I was able to take the next step.
The news was a little more challenging. When I felt my forehead crinkle, I decided to trade my concerns for God’s promises. “The righteous cry, and the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17). “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness.“ (Psalm 33:18). “You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” (Psalm 16:11).
Now there’s real hope!