The Night I Lost All Hope
Elaine Bonds, She Speaks Graduate

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
I remember it so well – the night I lost all hope. I had been hoping that my prodigal son was not lying to me. While I was 99% sure he was, I still clung to the 1% chance he was telling the truth. My heart simply refused to give up that final thread of hope.

As a condition of living in our home again, we asked that our 21-year old son attend a weekly support group meeting. We wanted him back home; his other living choice was not a good one. But we needed to establish boundaries, offering a safe place to live without tolerating or enabling his destructive behavior. We wanted to start rebuilding the trust we had lost. One building block was his Friday night support group meeting. Though our son said he was attending, in my heart I felt something was wrong.

One night I just had to know if he was living up to his commitment. I drove to the place where his meeting was held and my fears were confirmed: he was nowhere to be found. I went right home and waited. When he came home I asked about his meeting. “The meeting was fine. I’m tired and going to bed.” I had caught him in a lie!

Hope left me and discouragement came quickly to replace it. I couldn’t even confront him – at least not yet. I needed time to wrestle with the loss of the 1% of hope. It was just a tiny bit of hope. No big loss, right? … Wrong! That last 1% of hope is what I held onto the tightest. I was so angry and crushed. But then, God spoke. He chose a friend to speak His Words to me the very next day. She had no clue what was happening with our son. She just prayed what God prompted her -- for me to have HOPE! She emailed me her prayer:

“Father, You are the God of all hope. Your Word tells us that those who hope in You will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, and they will walk and not be faint. I pray this for Elaine this morning … that she will place her HOPE in You and You alone …”

Reading her prayer, it suddenly became clear to me. My hope had been in my son and in that weekly meeting. The hope I had lost – that 1% I’d been clinging to – was human hope. That kind of hope is in limited quantity, and when it runs out, you are left drained, discouraged, disappointed and …hopeless! Oh, it may masquerade as “hope,” but it is completely different from the hope that God provides. God’s hope renews and refreshes. It empowers, uplifts, and strengthens. God’s hope does not disappoint! There is an unlimited supply of God’s hope.

God knew I had been clinging to human hope, and He knew that last 1% of weak, feeble hope would run out. He wanted me to cling to Him, the God of true, lasting, unlimited hope. So, as I wiped my tears, I waited as the winds of God’s hope blew my way. My circumstances were still the same, but my heart was now filled with the hope that only God can provide.

Dear Lord, Thank You for Your wonderful, everlasting hope. Please help me always put my hope in You and You alone. Thank You that with You all things are possible. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do you know the Giver of hope?

Divine Prayers for Despairing Parents by Susanne Scheppmann

Finding Hope in the Midst of Depression by Mary Southerland

Join us for more Everyday Life Encouragement

Application Steps:
Pray today about a situation you’ve considered hopeless. Ask God to give you His perspective and His hope.

Ask God to reveal where you are placing your hope. Are you hoping in your husband, your bank account, your job, a program, a promise from someone? Or, are you truly placing your hope in the Lord?

Let 2009 be a year that you place your hope in God alone.

Power Verses:
Psalm 42:5, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” (NIV)

Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NIV)

Psalm 147:11, “The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.” (NIV)

© 2008 by Elaine Bonds. All rights reserved.

Labels: , , , , ,


Blogger EnjoyLife said...

Thank you Elaine for sharing - you have shed some light on the hope that I have been grieving recently. This year, one of my sons and I had been growing closer - he was opening up to me more and more about how certain parts of teenage life confused him and we were having some good discussions about Jesus. Six days after his 18th birthday, he made a dangerous decision and was stabbed to death. Among many parts of my grief, there is the grief of the hope I had that he was going to be one of those young men who was going to turn his focus more clearly on Jesus. I thought my hope rested more on Jesus, but after reading your devotion I can see that it was more focused on my son. You have helped me with the healing process...thank you again.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotion comes to me at just the right time. I was just praying with my daughter yesterday about my husband's, her father's, addictions. I looked up a couple of verses, and even applied them to some of our own addictions to things in our lives.
After reading your devotion I too realized that I was placing my hope in all the wrong areas. I am now focusing on my hope in God, just where it needs to be!
Thank you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am having similar struggles with my son who is 22. Needing to know about boundaries and his deceptions. I do need more hope in God. It is difficult to find it..I try. How our children can tear at our soul and bring us anguish. But God is bigger, and loves them so much more. His arm is not so short that it cannot save.

My heart goes out to "EnjoyLife". What a terrible trial my greatest hope in times such as those is that mercy triumphs over judgement...and God is merciful.

You are in my prayers.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing about hope. It confirmed to my prayer this morning when I realised that I have no more money to carry on. I hope on God alone to make provisions for me. I know He will not disappoint me.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your words.I, like everyone else have come to realize by reading this devotion, that I was placing hope on everything, except for the Lord, and as times get hard for all of us, we need to set our eyes on the Lord and place all hope on him.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today I felt all hope was lost for my son, and this reading opened my eyes to the realization that hope placed in the hands of the Lord is unending. This came at just the right time for me. Thank you for sharing this powerful message.

Blogger Sherrie said...

Thank you Elaine for being so open & honest and sharing with us. I too feel like I'm holding on to that 1% of hope in my son Joshua. I know that I need to hold on to my 100% hope in God.
But what I'm struggling with now is how do you live that in day to day life. What does that mean in practical terms? You mentioned that one of the conditions of your son living at home was that he attend the weekly support group. Does putting your hope in God rather than your son mean that you have no "conditions" to him living with you or that he has to meet those conditions in order to still live there? I feel like I am in a constant battle wih my son. Not to necessarily do what I want, I've pretty much give up on any of "my" dreams & hopes for him. But just common courtesies of living in my home.
Can someone shed some insight into the practicalities of day to day life?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish we could all get together and share our stories about the 1% of hope we have left for our sons. Our son is 24 and struggling. I've become closer to the Lord, but keep taking on His tasks in trying to help my son financially while he is lying to me all along. Addictions are evil and can tear a family apart. Sometimes I feel so lonely putting up a good front, however, I have to learn to take care of myself. Not many people understand all this unless you wear the shoes.

Post a Comment


Site Search
Recent Devotions
Articles About...
Grab our button!