With the new Star Wars movie breaking records in theatres I was reminded of the first Star Wars. I saw it 5 times, mainly because I was 10 and Hans Solo was by far my favorite character. In the beginning of the movie Obi-Wan and Luke Skywalker are “tuning up” R2D2 and C3PO when a video message appears from Princess Leia. The message explains she is in her desperate hour and needs Obi-Wan’s assistance. The message fades with her last words, “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi! You’re my only hope!”
Who’s, or perhaps, I should ask where your only hope is this New Years.
Listening to a radio call in show recently, a caller called in with a very tragic circumstance and voiced they had ran completely out of hope. They could not see themselves continuing life. This broke my heart and I hung on every word the Christian psychologist offered. He said something that struck me to the core. It was like as he spoke the words I could see the truth in my own life echoing the truth he shared. I was astounded as scattered thoughts of my experiences began to align into a folder in my mind. His wisdom to her was in a corrective tone. He stated to her,” You have not run out of hope, you have run out of cope.” It was as if he titled a chapter in my life. A very important chapter that has changed the course of my everyday coping skills.
Often times we find ourselves voicing similar appeals. Circumstances seeming so unbearable that there seems to be no hope.
It’s certainly true in my life, and I would say yours. Scriptures tells us tribulation and trials will intercept with our path.
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
God has created us to be creatures that cope. Our physical bodies begin to cope with the environments around us. Mentally we do some of same things. We find ways both consciously and unconsciously to adapt to circumstances we are experiencing. Unfortunately even though our bodies are very talented at changing course or rolling with the punches, sometimes in life we run out of cope.
Some coping is extremely hard especially when we face the same situation for an extended amount of time. Our coping task becomes so piled up that we can’t see the hope that offers the equipping mechanism to handle the coping. We too sound just like Princess Leia expressing to others and sometimes only quietly to ourselves the reality of our hopelessness.
When we confuse that with being hopeless we are forgetting the truth that God’s word says is reliable and never ceasing. Jesus Christ promises hope. He is our only hope. In the book of John He tell us
He promises to give us hope in Jeremiah 29:11
Psalm 45:11 The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
For most of my life I had my coping behavior wrong. I thought it was fueled by a strong personality, a faith larger than the task ahead of me. I continued to lose my hope. I continued to allow my loss and grief to shout to me, “You will never be able to subdue me.” I would then shift my activity, bottle up my emotions and sharpen my determination. Yet I would fail to cope once again and loose hope in the midst of my journey.
It wasn’t until I realized the lens of God’s glory glasses that I began to envision that hope has nothing to do with cope. The word hope is a noun. It is the name we place on an expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. My “certain thing to happen” was to be rid of grief and heartache. I realized what needed to be changed. Instead of hoping my grief and headache would go away and never return, my hope needed to be, how can I exclaim Jesus through this situation?
As the author Ron Dunn writes, “When we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we accept Jesus for all that we know at that time in our life.” As we begin the road to sanctification we dually learn more about ourselves and more about Jesus. Instead of relying on the hope I have in Jesus to help me, I continued to try to increase my faith in my own power. My own power blocked my view of God’s glory. Through humility and brutally honest conversation with Jesus I saw the hope Christ grants us in an entirely new way. I say the power that that hope held for others around me as I could witness to them. I began to know Jesus in a whole new way. I learned the fear I had for facing grief and pain was greater than I cared to admit. Pouring out my fear allowed me to see my life through God’s eyes. It was after that encounter with God I felt led to begin this blog in hopes that others will to view life through God’s glory.
When I place God’s lens on my life I then can see my hope in front of the large pile of circumstances that require me to cope. More often than not my coping skills run out and when they do I rest in the Lord. For me that looks like a time of refocus. Time spent with the Lord, through His word and conversations of prayer. Most importantly for me was being brutally honest with my circumstances and asking Him to allow me to see through His eyes. Even now sometimes it takes more than a quick checkup of my vision. Each situation takes different amounts of chiseling of my heart than others. And then I can see and will continue to see His hope rise up and meet me where I am and make me new again. I will again have learned more about me and more about Jesus that I didn’t know before.
‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;
Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
Hoping fuels your coping!