When was the last time you felt hopeful? Some might say that during this tumultuous time in the world—with COVID, war and natural catastrophes—how can anyone be? When I bring it even closer to home—our family suffered great loss late last year when my father passed away one day and my brother-in-law the very next—where’s the hope then?
Throughout my life, I can trace times when hope faded, prayers were silenced, darkness crowned my thoughts, and struggles overwhelmed and exhausted me. But I can also trace the times when God has led, intervened, guided my thoughts, tested me and shown mercy to me time and time again.
While very occasionally it was an undeniable God moment, most times, it was a nudge, a prompting to act, what is often called a God wink. I believe we often miss these moments in our busy, chaotic lives.
Here are just a few of my recent encounters with God:
• I happened to be with a friend and, without knowing why, I was prompted to pray for her. Not only that, but a specific issue came into my mind. When we finished praying, my friend looked at me, astonished, and wondered how I knew exactly what she needed prayer for in that moment!
• God showed up in beautiful ways during the last few days of my father’s life. He orchestrated everything that made His presence undeniable. One of these moments involved my daughter, Melissa. My father had taken a turn, and only my mother was with him, but Melissa arrived just at that moment when my mother needed help the most. Melissa was able to be used in a beautiful way to bring comfort to my mother and deal with the doctors.
• On the morning of my father’s passing, I had taken my mother home for a few hours after she had spent the whole evening with him. On the way back to the hospital, we received word that he did not have much time left. I immediately began driving faster, hoping that we would make it in time to say our goodbyes. I prayed a specific prayer at that moment that God would provide me a parking spot close to the door, and a hospital wheelchair so that I could get my mom quickly to the room. As I turned into the hospital, I was prompted to pull into the outside parking lot—which I had never done. I couldn’t see any spots, but as soon as I turned in, I saw an empty place and, yes, there was a wheelchair right at the spot.
Coincidences? I don’t think so.
So when was the last time you felt hopeful? If it’s been a while, maybe you need to find God in the everyday moments and give thanks for all that He has done.
Establish a rhythm in your life—as I have done—where you concentrate and take notice of when God shows up. Focusing on those moments, those blessings, will restore the hope that has been lost.
Lean in and experience that hope rise as you see God at work, as I have!
Lisa Baker is a senior leader in The Salvation Army’s human relations department at territorial headquarters in Toronto, and a lifelong Salvationist who attends Oshawa Temple.
Photo: Wannachai Phonnuan/iStock via Getty Images Plus