Hope Starts Here?

My session with my mentor Jerry had been less than fun, I was feeling the weight of the journey ahead of me and the work to be done. “Richie, you’re still the key.” he had said.

As I was leaving, I read words on a banner that I’ve passed hundreds of times over the years. It said, “Hope Starts Here”.

“Here? This is where hope begins? It feels more like despair.” I thought to myself.

That day we had talked about the idea that in order for me to provide emotional, relational safety for Timi, I needed to work through the wounds of my past. This is heart work. I can’t just think it through; in order to heal I have to feel the pain, disappointment and loss. I need to grieve. But I don’t WANT to feel those things. I have kept them at arms length for a reason. They hurt!

The story of Naaman comes to mind. “You want me to go wash in that muddy river? It’s dirty, it’s unclear, it’s not becoming for a man of my stature. I won’t do it.” The prophet didn’t just ask him to wade in it or splash in it. No, he was to immerse himself or baptize himself SEVEN TIMES!! O the fury that simple request provoked.

Sure, he wanted to be healed, but this? This was too much. Hope starts here? On the banks of a murky river? With inane direction from the representative of a faceless God?

Naaman had a choice. I have a choice. And so do you. This kind of healing is only for those who are desperate enough to go to their watery graves to find it. You see, the banner I read hangs on the chapel wall of the Union Gospel Mission where I meet with Jerry each week. It is a place for desperate men. Like me. Perhaps like you. Men who are ready to admit that our way is not working so well and we need Someone bigger than us to show us the way.

When we reach out to a loving Heavenly Father seeking direction and strength for the journey, we find that in fact, Hope DOES start here.

How has God brought hope to you when you faced difficult circumstances? Share in the comments below.

– Richie

 

Leave A Reply (14 comments so far)

*


  1. Linda
    7 years ago

    Yes, there is Hope. Your seminar presentations at Gladstone Camp Meeting this summer started us on the path to better communication and trust. Anniversary #36 coming up. Thank you.


    • Richie
      7 years ago

      Great!!! Thanks for sharing Linda. Celebrate that milestone!


  2. Cheryl Wallace
    7 years ago

    Enjoyed this, Richie!! How’s the new house?


    • Richie
      7 years ago

      Thanks Cheryl. The house is great. We love it.


  3. Jeannie
    7 years ago

    Music is often the way God talks to my heart. It tends to sneak past my defenses and pierces deep. There is a song on Gaither Vocal Band – Pure and Simple Volume 2 for you (you can find it on YouTube), that touched that cord and let me know there was still work to be done. Starting at16:31there is a song called “Do You Want to be Well?” taken from the story of the man by the pool. God then encouraged me with an old hymn, “Through it All”. It reminded me that He has been there all along and could continue to get me through if I trust Him to. The question remains, am I willing to be well and all that comes with that? Are we desperate enough to believe in miracles? Am I willing to trust that He will not shame me, leave me, reject me? Hope does start here! Please Lord, give me that measure of faith I so desperately need.


    • Richie
      7 years ago

      Amen! Thank you so much for sharing Jeannie. I’ll be looking that song up!


  4. Bill
    7 years ago

    I would have to say that He reminds me of past trials and their outcomes. “Didn’t I provide, lead you, show you, providential circumstances” “I blessed you, it all worked out in due time” etc.
    This may sound like cliches to some, BUT it is the way that He tells me “what do I have to worry about?” All I need to do is reflect and trust Him, my hope is strengthened!


    • Richie
      7 years ago

      Thanks Bill. Good words. We need to get together soon


  5. Cindee G
    7 years ago

    Sent you a message through facebook Richie! Check your other folder if you don’t see it. : )


    • Richie
      7 years ago

      Thanks – got it. Appreciate the tip.


  6. Jeanette
    7 years ago

    I so understand the desire to keep the feelings of pain, loss, and disappointment at arm’s length! Immersing in the muddy river feels like an irreversible plunge – thanks for the reminder of Naaman – does bring an allegory of hope and healing to realizing the impairing disability and doom of leprosy of the soul which we all struggle with to a greater or lesser extent.


    • Richie
      7 years ago

      Thanks – It’s a human thing isn’t it to keep pain at a distance if we can.


  7. Barb
    7 years ago

    My healing began over 30 years ago. I learned that dealing with the hurt was no harder than living with the haunts of the past. For me, and usually for others, the hard part is bringing those feelings to the surface when I have been repressing them for so long. I found it was like an onion… I would work on what was bothering me the most and feel like I was healed. But eventually the haunts would come back and I would work through more pain. After 30 years I believe I finally am in control of my own emotions, and this even has seemed to be the case through some trauma that I have been going through for about 6 weeks. God has answered many years of prayers!!! “Pray without ceasing.”


    • Richie
      7 years ago

      Thanks Barb – sometimes it’s helpful to get a view from someone who has taken the journey already. There is hope and a call for patient perseverance in your comment. Thanks too for the call to pray. God is still in the healing business!