Monday, November 27, 2006

Hope is Alive!

Sometimes all we want to know is when the lonely ache of loss is going to go away. We never knew that anything could hurt this deep and this long, and we seek answers to find some relief. How will I know when I am beginning to find some healing? What can I do today to make this pain feel better? How do I get back my zest for living? When will the world feel like a safe, happy place again?

Loss changes everything about our “normal” in an instant. Suddenly our world feels upside down and out of control. Our thoughts race, but they only fall into a dark tunnel of fear and loneliness. Nothing seems to fit any more. The pain of loss is everywhere.

There is no easy way to explain how healing takes place except by saying that when the seeds of hope begin to sprout, life begins to once again have meaning. Hope is not pretending that there isn’t any sorrow. Rather, hope is calling on that inner strength that is part of each of us to sustain us until we gradually find happiness again.

There is strength found in everyday things . . . . . smiles, kind words, the warm rays of sunshine, the listening ear of a friend. Even the far away sounds of the songbird whistling a thankful tune can begin to unleash that inner strength found in hope.

Be assured that hope is alive, and it is gently tending to the needs of your heart. The day will arrive when you will know that joy has filled your soul once again! --Clara Hinton

“Hope always arrives on time with a special song for the heart.” --Clara Hinton

“For I hope in Thee, O Lord; Thou wilt answer, O Lord, my God.” --Psalm 38:15

Monday, November 20, 2006

Thanksgiving Day -- How to say "Thank You" when in Pain

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is focused on giving God thanks for all of our many blessings. This is a family oriented holiday, and one where most families take time out to gather around the table, bow their heads, and speak gracious words of praise and thanks for all of the abundance we have in our lives.

The reality of life is that on this Thanksgiving Day many people will suffer some of the greatest pain known to all of mankind. Loneliness. Depression. Isolation. Rejection. Broken relationships. Job loss. Hunger. Mental, physical, and emotional fatigue. And, the worst pain of all – the loss of a loved one. Not everyone will be able to sincerely say “thank you” for the abundance of blessings when going through the heavy trials of life.

As we approach Thanksgiving Day, may our hearts be constantly reminded that we have not been left alone in our sorrow. We have only to fix our gaze on the rising of the sun to know that God is right beside us ushering in each new day. As we listen to the babbling brook we can hear His voice gently calming our broken spirit with reminders that His strength is mightier than any problem.

Being thankful during times of pain is not easy, yet it can be done. It must be done in order to experience the peace that is beyond all human understanding. Often, it is in our brokenness that we can feel God’s personal touch in our lives. What a blessing to know that He cares. What a comfort to close our eyes at the end of each day and know with full assurance that God is holding us close! -- C. Hinton

“Thankfulness is a by-product of hope.” --Clara Hinton

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -- Romans 8:38-39