This morning I met with the physician assistant at my gastroenterologist’s office to discuss how I’m feeling six weeks after taking another round of antibiotics. (I take one antibiotic every three to four months, but every two to four years I can take a combination of two, which produces significantly better results.) Sadly, the relief I experienced while on the medications did not last. As soon as I stopped taking them my symptoms returned and I was forced to resume my restricted diet. Two years ago I was heartbroken when this silver bullet, magic-med combo failed. This time I was not surprised.
How does one find hope in a hopeless situation?
The PA I saw today poured through my records, racking her brain for a solution. She called my case severe and with great concern tried her best to locate hope on her computer screen. In the end she came up empty and could only bounce me back to the doctor who will see me in eight weeks after I try a powdered drink mix I’ve tried before, which did not help.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Is it truly possible to be thankFULL on empty, overflowing in drought, hopeful in hopelessness?
Where depression once gripped me through hunger and hurt I now stand strong in a victory that is not my own.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:11-13)
This past weekend I celebrated my grandparent’s 75th wedding anniversary with family at a restaurant that served the most enticing entrees and decadent desserts. We gathered together over the finest foods to honor this couple’s love and devotion to each other and to our family for three quarters of a century. As I watched everyone enjoying their meals, I ate nothing, and I missed nothing. Full of love, joy and thanksgiving, I hungered for nothing more.
Later this week we will again gather around food to give thanks, and I will, with a full heart, thank God for His mind-blowing mercy and grace. My husband, our children, our home and our story, our family and friends are all mouthwatering morsels of love prepared and served by our Father’s good hands. I am deeply thankful for the lives of those I love, for the relationships we share, and for my beloved God whose immeasurable love changes everything even when nothing changes. His goodness and generosity abound, if only I have eyes to see how full my plate truly is.
It is my hope that this Thursday as we pile our plates high, we will pile our hearts higher. Let’s feast on God’s love and taste His goodness in the company of those around us. Let’s put our differences aside and view one another through Kingdom eyes, seeking to understand rather than to be understood. Love and forgiveness have been dished out so plentifully; how can we not share this bounty? Remember those who are alone or in pain. So many will be tired and heavy from more than just eating too much turkey this year.
We can overflow with a hope that never runs dry.
We must look past what we see and remember there is More.
There is always More.
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. (Romans 15:13)