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Solving Problems Saving Hope

We can relate to being thrown into the spin cycle of problems that never dry out. How many times have you thought, “If I had a towel, I’d throw it in?” There are many reasons not to throw in the towel or call it quits or give up on that thing you know is worth the effort.

When my grandson Tyler was in preschool, he wanted to carry the basket while shopping with my daughter. As each item was added to that little red basket, the weight got heavier and heavier. My daughter observed this and offered to take the basket herself, but he said, “No, I’ll persevere.” It was a significant burden for a little guy, but he insisted on carrying the load until they reached their destination – the checkout, the relief station, the completion.

If we could define the storybook life, we would all fill up our baskets with perfect health, sports without injury, relationships with no rejection, scrumptious food with no calories, kind acts, no bullies, all fun and pain would be absent. Even though full, our baskets would be a light as air, as weightless as happiness.

That isn’t how it is though. Life is a contact sport and sometimes it can really beat us up. We live in a fallen world full of sadness, sickness, baskets that grow heavy with burdens. But listen to this verse in Hebrews and don’t give up. Hebrews 10:36 spells it out for us. “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” If you read that entire chapter you will see that people lived with conflicts, insurmountable afflictions and they suffered greatly. “I’ll persevere.” became their mantra.

Maybe you never feel like giving in. You might never reach the saturation point and wonder how you can go on. If you’re that person, reach out to others who need your courage. The word encourage means to instill courage in others. Be the person who listens intently and touches the hearts of the hurting.

If you are on the edge of giving up and questioning how you can take one more step, start over every day, here’s your answer. Yes, you can persevere. It’s called hope.

H
Help someone else. Do something for another person, expecting nothing in return.

O
Organize your private world – this might take some thought and effort but this is powerful. Organize your private world means thinking through what is important to you. You don’t have to love writing to jot down what you want your life to look like. Organizing your private world also includes getting rid of clutter in your living space that blurs your focus and becomes a distraction. A little bit of clutter is a byproduct of a full life, but when it becomes a distraction it also becomes a burden, not a blessing.

P
Pray. You knew this was coming, but I can’t apologize for bringing it up over and over. You can even pray, “Lord please remove burden, but if you choose not to take it, at least lift the weight.” The more prayer you put in your basket, the less room there is for all those burdens. If you want to know the benefits of prayer, read James 5.

E
Embrace opportunities. This might sound impossible because when we feel defeated, we don’t recognize opportunities. Opportunities aren’t always seen with human eyes, they are often seen only with the heart. Sometimes we have to remember where we are in our life journey. “Focus on what you have not on what you’ve lost. Capitalize on what you can do, not on what you cannot.”

So here we go. Hope to continue. Hope to persevere. Hope shared with others. Hope to last a lifetime.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

This story is part of the 31-day writing challenge for Five Minute Friday. While I agree to write 5 minutes a day – I never stop at 5 minutes. If you want to join the community, tap into the opportunity at fiveminutefriday.com

Jane Andersonhttp://refininggrace.com/
JANE’s professional experience is scattered across industries from financial services and insurance to engineering and manufacturing. Jane sees her background in writing and editing website content as the foundation to her current love of social media. Being an avid reader, meticulous note taker and lifelong learner has fostered her natural pursuit of sharing her world through writing. Reading books and summarizing content started as a hobby and has since grown to be a major part of her vocational experience. Jane says, “Authors pour their heart and soul into writing their book. When I write a review, it’s with intent to celebrate the book and promote the author.” Jane claims to be 'the best follower you'll ever want to meet' and has been repeatedly called servant leader, eternal cheerleader, social media evangelist, and inspirational go-to person. Jane is a contributing author to the inspiring book Chaos to Clarity: Sacred Stories of Transformational Change.

13 COMMENTS

  1. We cannot lose the unique thing that keeps us alive: hope.
    Despair, the absence of hope, is the inability to see ahead to a future that is worth to meet. Hope means just believe in a future of joy promised, is like receiving an advance of that joy and wanting to continue to get its fullness. It should be possible to leverage its own resources, and to find other ways to tell his own story to oneself, enlarging it, finding explanations and alternative viewpoints. If I change my story, I will change myself and also my vision of the future, and I can make room for hope.
    I understand it’s not always easy to do it … but one can try!!
    BUT………The hope is perhaps the source of our greatest weakness because we can no longer look at the reality of things. Things will never change if we only hope. Hope is really dangerous if it is not connected to our actions to improve our lives and the lives of others. Thinking positively and see things in pink without action is useless.

    • Aldo I always appreciate your insightful comments. I especially identity with the wisdom to realize nothing will ever change if all we do is analyze, dream, and think. At some point we have to land the plane. We have to get off the couch and put action to what we hope for.

  2. Your HOPE formula offers some really forward-moving ways to explore life. I really enjoyed each of them. To embrace opportunities gives us so much character to step into the unknown and just leap. The experience is worth the unknown to persevere and get the riches of walking out the other side. Nice work, Jane!

    • Maureen, you are so kind to read and comment on my article. I love your inference to stepping, sometimes without confidence, into the unknown. I can see your enthusiasm for making things happen. I don’t remember the quote verbatim but I think Dr. Martin Luther King said something like, You don’t have to see the whole staircase to take the first step.

  3. A wonderful and inspiring message Jane – thank you most kindly.

    Igniting hope (for self and others) when there seems to be no hope, is one of the most meaningful gift we can give others and to ourselves.

    Sharing Love in all of its manifestations is a real blessing as Love in its essence is spiritual fire.

    Willingness to do both, gives true meaning to our lives and to the Biblical verse you quoted, “ You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

    “Hope
    Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
    Whispering ‘it will be happier’…” Alfred Lord Tennyson

    “Hope is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul
    And sings the tune without the words
    And never stops at all.” Emily Dickinson

    “Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.” – Lao Tzu

  4. Thank you for all the reminders to persevere in the face of obstacles especially when we are clear about what we value, Jane. Being able to discern when walking away or setting down the basket could bring about the greatest good for all concerned can be invaluable, too. Living in discernment and the both/and can be incredibly freeing. We definitely have choices. Sometimes we carry things that are not even ours and neglect the things that are ours. We become overburdened by what others place in our baskets that we forget our own lives. Finding dynamic equilibrium in the contact sport that is life can allow us to heal from the inside out. Events and how we react or respond will produce outcomes. All we really ever have control over is our response or reaction. That’s it. Helping others from a place of fullness, non-resentment, can be wonderful and very fulfilling-however, helping from an empty tank that we haven’t taken the time to fill can often create the gritting teeth build up of resentments. Be clear what you say “yes” to and what you can say “no, thanks.” to. Self-care, self-love from the inside out remains essential in a multi-dimensional world of both/and-the grieflove, heartbreaks and hilarity, pains and passion. Sometimes muscling through can do more damage than finding a gentle way of contributing to others, to life. Sometimes what the world needs is our quiet, loving, joyful energy presence-and that’s enough.

    • What a beautifully articulated addition to my thoughts, Laura. We can’t pour from an empty cup, that’s for sure. I believe as you that we need to own the right things and remember that outcomes in life are more about how we react to things than the things that happen to us. There are so few things that we actually control, but our attitude is one of them. Choose joy.

    • Larry thank you for taking time to read and respond. When I feel like giving up, I ask myself, what do I want my future to look like. I still don’t achieve many of the things I set out to do, but it keeps me from giving up. There is more to life than sweat pants and cable.

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