When Things Seem Hopeless

Written by: Carolyn Ruttan

Isaiah 43:2 When you go through deep waters. I will be with you. When you go through rivers difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

Last week the world was shocked and saddened by the suicides of two well -known celebrities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.  By all appearances, they had it all; wealth, success, and popularity. But in the end did it matter? Something was lacking and now they are gone leaving their loved ones behind to grieve their loss to somehow find a way to go on and function without them.  I think especially of their young daughters, thirteen and eleven. How sad and tragic for them. I would imagine they feel abandoned, betrayed. Alone.  It’s a hurt I imagine they will carry for the rest of their lives.

We live in such a broken world. How sad is it that those who take their lives see that as the only option. The only way out…the only escape from their inner turmoil. How sad is that that people feel unseen, that no one cares, that everyone would be better off if they were gone.

Psalm 34: 17,18 The Lord hears his people when they cry out to him. He rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the broken hearted and he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.

Life can be dark at times. When things seem hopeless, there IS hope in Him. I think of the children that we minister to week in and week out. If you could see where they live and knew their family life, you would think things seem pretty hopeless. There’s the little boy who was rough housing with his classmates a few days ago when a button popped off his shirt. The tears streamed down his face. Crying….not because of losing a button or two, but for the beating he would receive when he got home. Then there is the six month old baby who lives with his mom and other relatives in a tiny wooden structure on a hill directly alongside the stairs going up to a school. I think of his mom, the sadness in her eyes. I pray for them both, that they come to know the love of their heavenly father who cares for them and whose lives matter to Him, even if by all accounts their situation seems pretty bleak.

Isaiah 49:15,16 Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has born? Even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.

These kids, the ones we see week in and week out are not forgotten. God sees them. He loves them. He cares. He cares about their brokenness. The things they face each day. He cares if they are abused or sick or in pain. His thoughts for them outnumber the sands in the ocean. Their names are engraved on the palms of his hands. He is the God who sees. He is the one who made them, the one who formed their hearts and he knows everything about them.

Psalm 139: 17a How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them, they outnumber the grains of sand!

If I am to be completely honest, I have struggled with feelings of anxiety and discouragement, with feelings of not being good enough and at times not feeling heard. I’ve struggled with loneliness on and off since moving to Honduras.  And, I don’t know your situation. Perhaps you are feeling alone and at the end of your rope. Maybe you feel like giving up, throwing in the towel.  Please don’t. Please reach out to someone.  There are people who love you and who care. And God.  God is there. Even in our darkest moments, we are never alone. He is always there.  He is walking us through the storms and the valleys, through life’s highs and lows and never, ever giving up on us.

Matthew 28:8 And be sure of this…I am with you always, even until the end of the age.