Tuesday, December 21

Romans 8:18-26
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we are saved.”

Hope – something we all desire through the turmoil in our lives, in our country and in our world.  We wait and pray for God’s hand to lift us out of these times of strife.
Sometimes you wonder how you can possibly continue living with the stresses in your life.  You may feel tired and depressed, angry or sad so often that you feel no hope for future peace and happiness.  You see the corruption in the world and wonder, “Where is God?  Why doesn’t He stop this evil?”

As a family, we lived with high levels of stress after our youngest child was severely injured.  Through his 20 years of life, there were many emergency runs to the hospital, unexpected surgeries, lots of medical things to learn to keep him healthy.  Many holidays were spent apart – one parent with our other children and one with our son, who experienced many health issues throughout his short life.
The stress, lack of sleep, and physical demands took its toll on us, depleted our hope.  How could we continue to provide for his needs while maintaining his place in our home?  Placing him in a facility was never an option we would consider.  What hope would he have for relief from pain, discomfort and dependence on others for his every need?

The future looked grim, hopeless – until we learned to focus on the blessings he brought to our family and to our community.   He was always accepting of his situation, loved life and other people. Life did not get easier but we adjusted, remembering our hope for our future came from God. Our son’s death at age 20 was unexpected, but as we mourned our loss, we knew he was in God’s care – a perfect place for him!

It is our faith and our hope in the Lord that keeps us looking forward through trials and tribulations.  He is with us as we struggle to understand what to expect, how to cope.  He walks with us and delivers us from the storms of life – in His time.
Push aside fears and live your life in excited anticipation of what He has planned for you!  There is nothing in this world that compares to the joy that comes in God’s presence.  Remember, He loves us unconditionally and will always be with us.  That’s hope!
-Diane Menchhofer

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