Yesterday was not an easy day. Some days emotions and memories just sneak up like a ninja and bite you on the bum. And my goodness it hurts. It hurts in a deep achey way, and it hurts in sudden pangs which cause totally unexpected tears at inopportune moments. Riding my bike on a busy road was not the time to start sobbing. But I did. However over the past six months I have become skilled in the ‘everything is fine’ face, and it didn’t fail me yesterday as I walked into my office, or when I drove up the driveway and entered the house to cook the family dinner. I want to be happy but I’m not, not consistently anyway. Sometimes I am content and I have peace; occasionally I feel truly alive for a brief moment, but most of the time there’s quite a big hole which alternately aches, is numb, or really, really hurts.
So last night as I lay not sleeping, I was praying and asking God to give me some hope in my hopelessness. And the words that came into my mind were the old hymn:
” My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I will not trust the sweetest frame, but only lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.”
Possibly for the first time ever I had the realisation that really there is nothing else in any way reliable or solid in our lives. Nothing. Which would be devastating except for the fact that there is Christ. There is Jesus’ righteousness. Hope. There it is again. Just when I needed it.
What I’m learning is that hope does not remove the difficulties, or make me feel great, or throw permanent rays of sunshine across my path. It’s more like a trickle of water in a dry desert for a parched traveller; or a lifebelt in the middle of the ocean; or my garden lights on a dark night.
It reminds me that there is more than the sinking sands around me. I just need to put my feet in the right place. Step by step. Day by day.
And hope gives me a reason to look for the good things in my life again. I will seek out books and music and words and people who inspire me, and who lift my soul. In the next weeks I plan to engage with life in a hopeful way again.
I am standing on the rock.