What happens when we hope for things that do not materialize?
In high school, my best friend often told me that she stopped hoping for anything because she did not want to be disappointed again. Obviously, in the short fifteen years of her life she had already met with so much disillusionment that she felt it necessary to build a wall around her heart to shut out hope.
Much later, I learned she lived in a dysfunctional, alcoholic home. Her hope was in her parents’ changed behavior. She hoped they would stop drinking and perhaps that she might be a part of their recovery. However, when the circumstances did not change, it ended in disillusion, because her hope was misdirected.
I once asked a 97-year-old relative if he thought he would go to heaven. He said, “I hope so.”
At age 97, he was surely close to the end of life, and I deemed it urgent to talk about his eternal destination; so, I asked him on what grounds he had hope of going to heaven.
He replied, “I have been a good man. I have obeyed God’s laws. I was faithful to my wife. All my life, I went to church every Sunday…”
However, I burst his bubble when I asked if he just “hoped” he would go to heaven or if he “knew” for sure he would.
“No one ‘knows’ for sure if they will go to heaven,” he rationalized.
His response made it apparent that he only “hoped” he would go to heaven; he was not sure he would. I then shared with him how he could know for sure. His hope had been in his good deeds, and it was misdirected.
When my daughter became ill, I placed my hope in my ability to find the right doctor, the right counselor, and the right medicine. I was sorely disappointed when nothing worked. My hope was misdirected.
The Bible tells us hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5), and yet, we see that when we place our hope in the wrong places i.e. other people, good deeds, or our own abilities, it ends in disillusionment, doubt, and disappointment. How and where have you directed, or misdirected, your hope?
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
My hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress,
I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:5-6.
Would you like to learn more about finding hope in difficult situations? Enter your name in a drawing to win a free copy of the book, God Placed Her in My Path – Lessons Learned from the Furnace of Bipolar Disorder, go to www.dorothyruppert.com/contact-dorothy . In the message box type “enter me in the drawing” and provide your mailing address. All entries must be submitted by 12:00 a.m., April 15, 2013. Two winners will receive a free copy.
This book is about evidence of God’s grace and hope as I walked alongside my daughter who experienced bipolar disorder.