Monday, August 20, 2012

There's ALWAYS Hope!

I said that just this morning earlier and I meant it. We live in a world where we need hope, need it yesterday, and need it desperately. Hope in the face of disease. Hope in the face of death. Hope in grieving. Hope "things" will get better, whatever the "things" happen to be.

Hope.

I live in the world of melanoma and while I mortally despise this disease and the toll it takes (and that toll is growing at a rapid pace and I hate that, too), I dearly love the people I encounter and the ones I have yet to meet. While I know melanoma well, this post isn't just for those who live in that world with me. It's for all who need Hope. Please forgive me, though, if my words should reside in that place. The thoughts behind my words are flying free of melanoma constraints.

There are many things that have no cure. At the moment. Melanoma, right now, has no cure except the one, or ones, known only to God. But there is hope for that cure! There are other diseases, conditions, and plights of this world that seem to know how to avoid being "cured." But hope for those cures and the ability to live into those cures abounds.

We hope for that cure. We hope for more and better treatment options. We hope for better days and hope for strength to get through the day we have before us. We have high hopes for the people around us and those we love. We have hope that the world will catch onto the dangers of tanning beds and unprotected sun-fun and that our numbers will decrease into non-existence one day. We have hope as more genetic codes are unlocked and we have hope that more will continue to be learned about how this disease operates because the sun and tanning beds are NOT the only factors. We hope to be the last ones in our families who get this diagnosis. We have hope of our words, stories, and lives making a real difference. We hope people are listening and changing their ways. We hope for the day when parents no longer bury their children because of this highly (though not always) preventable disease. We hope for the day when children no longer have to grow up without a parent due to this disease. We hope for the day when spouses no longer have to try and put their hearts and lives back together without their soul-mate. We hope for the day when brothers and sisters no longer have to navigate in a world without the people they grew up with. We hope that medicine will be able to halt the transmission of this disease across the placenta so women who want to bear children free of disease can and they won't have to make gut-wrenching decisions like they do now.

We hope. And we are blessed. We have seen some of our hopes realized and that gives us hope that other hopes will be realized as well. We've seen research bear real fruit these past two years and we've seen people benefit greatly from partaking of that fruit. Lives are extended. Tumors are shrunk, some are stabilized, others are stopped dead in their tracks, others are forbidden to start. We've seen people living longer and better lives at ALL stages! And while there's no "cure," we see this disease being beat back while those fighting the hardest battles are able to push through. Some, not all, but the numbers are growing.

And we hope. Hope keeps us going and we never give it up. Hope is a precious commodity. There's always hope. And when our mortal hopes fade away for more of life in this world, we have the hope of Heaven to hold onto. There's always hope.

The writer of Hebrews has this to say in Hebrews 11: 1 
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

Faith and hope work together with God in the mix and God is faithful. We will not be disappointed.

Hope is a gift from God, waiting to be opened, used, cherished.

Paul writes in Romans 15: 4b, 13
And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled. I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Friends, there's ALWAYS hope because there's ALWAYS God!

Search and read the Word for hope and encouragement to get through the days and seasons ahead. And may you experience the joy and peace that comes from trusting God no matter what. Then overflow with confident hope through the POWER of the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity.

And be grateful that God gives us that kind of hope. That's some powerful stuff!

Thanks be to God!

Charis