Cartwheels in Heaven
Tracie Miles

"But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love." Psalm 33:18 (NIV)

Something was missing. I tried to write, but no words came. I tried to focus, but my attention wandered. I tried to pray, but words were few.

I finally realized what was missing: hope.

My sweet sister has been fighting a battle with Multiple Sclerosis for twelve years. Each day brings new difficulties, new hurts, new medicines, and new reasons to lose hope. As I watched her struggle day after day, my heartbreak became overwhelming, and I had lost sight of any reason to be hopeful.

One day recently as I chatted with my sister, she told me about a dream she had the night before. In this dream, she was running, doing cartwheels, and playing rambunctiously with her children. She said the dream seemed to last for hours, and she vividly remembered laughing and feeling happy.

Then she woke up. To reality. A reality where she can barely walk, much less run. A reality where carefree romping and playing is nothing more than a memory. A reality filled with pain, disappointment and a lack of hope. She awoke and cried.

I've prayed for her healing so many times that I've wondered if God is tired of hearing it. I've pleaded with Him to give her comfort and peace. I've pressured Him for discernment and a glimpse of His plan so I can understand her plight.

I've found myself wondering if hope is realistic when a situation appears hopeless? Is physical healing possible, when all odds seem against it? Is comfort and freedom from pain attainable, when every cell inside a body is raging a war against itself? Is peace actually available for those who find no end to the hurting?

In my quest to find an answer, I looked up the definition of hope: The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best; to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence; to feel that something desired may happen. And the last definition said this, to continue to hope, although the outlook does not warrant it.

As I pondered that, my spirit leapt. This was the meaning God wanted me to understand today.
Thinking back on the prior week, I could see how God had filled my days with gentle, subtle reminders of hope through verses, emails, and devotions. He had heard the cries of my heart. I felt His Spirit leading me to a place of truly believing in the hope that only He can offer, even when the earthly outlook does not warrant it.

He had been sweetly nudging me to seek hope in Him. To allow His reassurance to saturate my heart, and fill that empty, dry space. I was reminded that hope is as essential for survival as food and water. Hope is life-giving.

My sister's 10 year-old daughter responded to her dream that morning. She told mommy not to be sad, because one day they could do cartwheels in heaven together. Upon hearing this, I felt hot tears and caught a glimpse of unfailing, eternal hope—right out of the mouths of babes.
Whether any of us do cartwheels on earth, or in heaven, is God's decision. But hope begins in believing that He was, is, and will forever be the source of our hope.

Sweet Jesus, forgive me for losing sight of where true hope is found. Infuse my heart and mind with the hope that can only be found in You. Please quench my thirst for understanding with reassurance of Your faithfulness. I ask that You guard my heart from the temptation to focus on the problem, instead of the One who holds everything in His hands. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Receive fresh encouragement each month with the P31 Woman magazine

Hope in the Midst of Depression: How to Embrace Life Again by Mary Southerland

Visit Tracie’s blog – Seeking Peace in God’s Will

Application Steps:
Believe that all things are possible with God.

Have I lost hope?

Power Verses:
Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (KJV)

Psalm 62:5, "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him." (NIV)

© 2009 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this blog. I lost my husband to cancer recently and have been overwhelmed with loneliness. I try to keep thinking about how much happier he is in heaven with his new cancer free being, whatever type of being that is. I know it's selfish to want him to be back here when he was in so much pain. Thanks for bringing me back to the main focus.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a single girl, and I lost my job a week ago Friday! I have been praying that the Lord would act quickly to deliver and provide... (I know it has only been a little more than a week...) Today, I was praying for a small token of encouragement, as I was trying to ignore the panicky feeling the enemy is using to distract me! This devotion is only ONE of the tokens so far and I know there will be more! HE is SO good, SO amazing... and SO faithful to me of little faith!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you! I am in my first year of law school. Overwhelmed is an understatement. I am so afraid of failing or not making the grades. I know God gave me the permission to be here. I wish I could say reading this moved me to hope again it just really expressed my heart's heavy burden. Please keep me lifted that I find confidence in my Jesus to do exceedingly and abundantly.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow that is what i needed to hear today. there is a time when you seem all out of it and you just dont

know what else to hang on too. thank you
my prayers were answered also.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am finally home after a long excruciating day at the hospital and thought I would see what kind of message is in today's devotion. I find it directing me towards hope, and trust in God. My family and I have been through a very difficult two years and five months, not due to health issues, but other various events that have unfolded in our lives. My daughter gave birth Friday to my first grandchild, and we anticipated much joy and celebration. Instead we got complications, surgery for the baby, uncertainty, less than good reports, and a time of waiting. I will try to refocus my attention up instead of in this world, and put this in God's hands.

Blogger Unknown said...

Thank you so much for this blog! I lost my mother when I was five years old to Luekemia. Recently in my church, some people I know have been diagonosed with cancer or M.S. they all chose to do an alternative method which has cured them from cancer or M.S. Its called Gerson Therapy. Its a natural and and safe treatment to cancer and other related illnesses. Check out the website if you have time! Thanks again!

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