A few years back, I had a near-death experience after an unsuccessful second heart surgery. For a while I felt my life was drawing to a close. Naturally, this had a profound impact on my psyche. Thinking I would soon be gone I wanted to leave a good impression; so outwardly I gave it my best shot, though in all reality I was wrapping up my life to get my affairs in order.
Meanwhile, I have made it through yet another heart surgery, and here I am, still kicking. Eventually, I had to shift gears, because my life was not about to end any time soon. I had to give my life another chance.
I did not want to admit to it at the time, but I felt hopeless when my health went south. In the book of Proverbs we find a brief description of the effects of hopelessness (Proverbs 13:12):
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
It is a medical reality that lack of hope eventually catches up with us and affects us physically. Sometimes our struggles go unnoticed, and that is very unfortunate. Suicide rates are up – a sobering indicator that we live in a lonely society.
How can we help a hopeless person? Pep talk in a depressed state may not be the best approach. Self-help groups promote positive thinking, and that is perhaps a good start, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Lord is the answer to our deepest needs. Ultimately He is the One who can fix what is broken inside of us. I believe, in our frailties we mostly depend on God’s mercies to get us through a valley and beyond.
We all need the Lord. Turning to Him for encouragement is a wise move. God is not stuck in a mold and He can get us out of ours; He is able to help us see things differently. Regardless of how much or how little lifetime we have left, we do have things working for us; God is able to open our eyes so we can become aware of these things.
The Lord walks with us on difficult roads – and I cannot stress this often enough – His presence is the best gift He can give us in most confusing times.
When we feel lost, we need to remember the Lord.