February begins


The title of one of my devotional readings this morning was, Hold on to hope, and was based on scripture from the book of Isaiah 40:31 "But those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength."  A wonderful strong and encourage verse, and the author wrote a very good reflection based on it--one I am sure I will reread in the future. However, given my current circumstances (loved one in hospice, a dear friend in ICU, another possibly facing more cancer treatment, and a father in his late eighties and struggling with cancer, heart and other health issues) feel differently than the author in one important understanding. The author states that, "...the most painful part of any suffering is fear."  At this point, in regards to my loved one in hospice, it is not fear that are living with, rather it is living daily with the dichotomy of  despair and hope. The incrementally slow decline toward death and the daily suffering does not cause me to fear, but it does make me despair at times. 

In the past I have lived with the two sided coin of faith/doubt. I know from experience I can live as a faithful person and still struggle with doubts. These days I am living as a very hopeful and hope-filled person, but at the same time I do struggle with despair that my loved one's release from pain and suffering continues day in and day out. As his full time caregiver, I am confident of being able to do what I need to with medications and other medical related issues his daily care requires--none of that makes me fearful, and the hospice nurses are very good with directions, but I do despair. The sadness and pain that I feel in some moments of this long waiting does not take away my hope for his final healing. While I am not someone who uses the "victory over death" language often, I am a Christian and I trust that when death comes there will be release and healing, and therefore I can say, "victory over cancer" for him--he will at last be at peace and have new life, and that "victory over death". 

I will also point out, just for the record, that as I disagree with the thesaurus putting "lack of faith" as a synonym for the word doubt, I am equally disagreeable  that the first synonym listed in my thesaurus (may be different in others) for despair is "hopelessness."

 I will also just note for the record that the devotion I read this morning was based on Jeremiah 29:11 "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD...to give you a future with hope."  Two strong passages on hope--a good way to being February.
2/6/2012 02:53:40

Very well put. I've read in the past that doubt is not the opposite of faith, but despair is. Too many rules about what means what sometimes. You've given some good examples here about how and why we can feel both without having to consider one crossing out the other. This I know to be true about you ~ I know however much you despair that you are never without hope or faith.

2/6/2012 10:13:47

Sandy, thanks for your comment! I agree there are too many rules--we are not cookie cutter people. People experience things differently, express things differently, and have different needs. Ha, and different opinions! Oh well, it takes all kinds.

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