22 May 2022

Hope is everything says Offaly influencer


Ronan Scully

Thought for the week - Hope is Everything

I have received many letters, cards and emails over the years because of the messages in my writings from various people up and down the country and from abroad. Some said they were doing great, seemingly on top of the world while others confided in me that they were barely getting by, living day-to-day, trying to make ends meet and that life was a hopeless situation for them and with many others dealing with circumstances such as serious illnesses, financial worries and lack of faith so difficult that, quite frankly, they felt defeated and overwhelmed by life.

We will all battle hopelessness at some point in our lives. And no matter who we are or what our situation, "Hope" is one thing we all desperately need especially now as we enter out of nearly all restrictions that we had for the past two years. The reason is, hope is powerful!

Hopeful Acceptance
Hope is more than a motivational thought. Hope is a nothing-is-impossible-with-God firestorm refusing to be quenched. It’s an awareness that God is actually longing to show you His goodness. Hope is what stabilises our frantic thoughts and emotions. Hope is an awareness that there is no problem big enough to keep God from rescuing us. These days as we have known for the past two years, it’s easy to be worn down by hopelessness because of the Coronavirus and what we have gone through.

People lose hope when they experience overwhelming loss, repeated failures, impossible situations, or when they’re hurt by people they trust. Like most of you, I understand what it’s like to feel hopeless. I spent many years especially during some of my younger years when my life was sometimes filled with pain, abuse, disappointment, unfaithfulness and one bad thing after another. 

Because of this, I wouldn’t get my hopes up. I used to say, “If I don’t expect anything good to happen, I won’t be disappointed when it doesn’t.” I’ve had the same fears and worries over the last few months and some long days in my own life and not just during this time of Covid-19, where I felt like nothing was working and everything seemed to end in disaster and all looked hopeless. I have started saying a prayer of hope recently that you can use on the ten fingers of your hands which was kindly given to me by a good friend David. It goes as follows, "God please keep me hopeful with acceptance of your will." But it made me think that it is one thing to pray for God’s will to be done in your life, but it is quite another to accept His will. Many of us talk a good game, as they say in the sporting world, about wanting His will for our lives, but once it is revealed, we get scared and we run away from it.

We let fear take over rather than to choose hope in God's will. Or we refuse to accept it because God’s will actually isn’t what we wanted at all. I can say all of this because I’ve been there and in many ways, I am there right now as I worry about my family, friends and colleagues about what the future may hold for us all and are we doing enough to make sure our world is in a good place for our children and for our children's children. For me having hope is important to the very act of being a human being. Hope is a match in a dark tunnel, a moment of light, just enough to reveal the path ahead and ultimately the way forward. I’ve long prayed and hoped for God’s will and purpose to be revealed in my life, but I never really took into consideration how I would respond to the revelation. I realise that not only should my prayer be, “Thy will be done” but also, “Let me accept thy will,” or to put it another way, feel the fear and do it anyway and to realise that to be a pilgrim of hope on the journey of life is to believe that hope in God is everything.

Choose Hope

A story as follows from my Nana Scully's prayer book might help in helping us choose hope. "A boy was in the burn unit of a hospital for many weeks making little if any progress. His teacher was asked to visit him and tutor the boy with some schoolwork while he was in hospital.

As she tried to tutor him it was obvious the boy was in a lot of discomfort. The teacher felt ashamed of putting him through such a senseless exercise.The next day the nurse asked her: “What did you do to that boy? His entire attitude has changed. It’s as though he has decided to live.” A few weeks later the boy explained that he had given up hope until his teacher arrived.

“They wouldn’t send my teacher to work on nouns and verbs with a dying boy, would they?” We too journey into people’s lives and into places and events that on the surface seem to have no meaning or purpose to us. Yet God gently works through us, creating many surprises and in ways we least expect. One of the greatest gifts we can give someone is the gift of hope. Once you choose hope in God, anything’s possible."

Thought for the week

As your thought for the week, pray for hope for the people in your life especially now that things are beginning to open up after nearly two years of lockdowns and restrictions. Every morning when I wake up I tell myself that today is a new day, a new beginning, a new dawn, a new chance, a new day with endless possibilities. And that gives me something that everyone cherishes, it brings me hope. It can bring anyone and everyone hope, and if you hold on to hope one day all those thoughts of a better life will become a reality. I am going to try each day and I hope you will too. I am going to wake, get up, dress up and show up and give it the best I can at that time.

And if you aren't going through any of this but know a friend or a family member or a colleague who is, talk to them, be with them, listen to them, guide them, help them, get help for them, show them where they can get help, be there for them, care for them and help them to show up and find that hope that you hopefully have in your life. I will have that candle of hope lighting for us all today, tonight and tomorrow and everyday that we will all find that hope we need in our lives.

I wish much hope and prayers for us all and especially for any families or friends or colleagues who are searching for a loved one who is missing, or who is unwell or is suffering in any way. Let us all say my beautiful friends David's prayer - "God keep me well with acceptance of your will" especially for those of us in those longer seasons of joblessness, sickness, financial stress, addiction, homelessness, relationship strain and other ongoing life events and especially for us all coming out of the lockdowns and restrictions of the  Coronavirus, where the stress and frustration was overwhelming and where hope had started to lose its flicker. I pray for strength and hope for us all as we go forward on our life journeys!!

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