Life can be hard. Sometimes things don’t work out the way we want them to work out. Sometimes relationships go through very difficult periods. Sometimes things come completely out of the blue and knock us off our feet. In these times, we can feel a sense of hopelessness.
At one point in the third book in the Sensible Shoes series by Sharon Garlough Brown, Barefoot: A Story of Surrendering to God, one of the main characters reflects on her friend, Meg’s, reaction to having the efforts she has made to move forward in her life unexpectedly collapse. She sees that Meg finds it “Very hard to trust that the story wasn’t over, that God placed commas of hope where Meg might punctuate with exclamation points of despair.”
What an uplifting, hopeful thought this is!! When we try to trust God with our lives, it is amazing how our perceptions can shift. We can’t see the whole picture. All we can see is right in front of us. When we have lived long enough to be able to look back on our lives, it can be amazing to see God’s work. Clearly things have gone wrong and at times have been incredibly painful. At the moments we saw as endings and were ready to use as “exclamation points of despair,” we can see that God had chosen a different way to punctuate. We can acknowledge that the pain was real and sometimes overwhelming for long periods of time, but as we look more closely, we can also see that there really were those “commas of hope.”
The more we are able to trust God and allow Him to be the center of our lives, the more we can permit the hope He has promised us to give us the strength to keep going and the peace of knowing we truly are loved by our God who knows the whole picture and who loves us dearly.