I am so excited to present the first of four Letters Of Hope. Each Letter is a dose of encouragement from someone who has struggled before. Grace Maples shares the importance of turning to God in the darkest of times.
I don’t pretend to know how you feel. I don’t pretend to know your pain or your hurt. I do know you need hope, and I know the only source that will satisfy, and He knows what you’re going through.
In 2014, I was in the valley where you are now. My father’s diagnosis left me wondering what God was doing! A disabling nerve condition that kept him in bed most days was not how I wanted to see my dad.
I felt locked inside, and I couldn’t get out of this cage of doubt. The doctors told my dad there was nothing they could do for him. Satan sent thoughts that tried to get me fearful like, ”Why, God? He won’t ever get better!”
I had nowhere to turn except God. I had been a Christian for a while, but I had never been through anything until then that really tested my faith! When my false hope in my circumstances fizzled out, God’s true lasting hope came through. It was only when I started emerging myself in God’s Word that I realized how wrong I was about God, and I gained strength.
“And we know for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV
He uses these trials, worries, and illnesses to make us more like Christ. He uses them to mold, shape and grow us in the faith. Not only that, but when it looks like all is lost, He’s there with you. When your strength gives way, He is right there to lift you up.
“fear not, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10 ESV
As the days wore on, I began to accept it and pick up my broken pieces. God had a purpose for us, and all I could do is trust it. Maybe I couldn’t see the details, but it was in my loving Creator’s hands.
Maybe you feel like you have no hope, or you have nowhere to turn. It’s not true, friend! You can turn to Him who loves you and knows how you feel. He will never fail! He sent His Son to die on the cross to show you just how much He cares. Run and cling to Him! He will supply you with the strength and the grace to carry on through the valley.
Because one day, you’ll be on the mountaintop. You will see just how much He taught you and grew you through the valley. My father actually got worse before he got better. But we wouldn’t trade that time for anything just because of how much we learned from it all.
Take heart my friend!
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ESV
Grace Maples is a homeschooled high school student from Knoxville, TN. She adores traveling, writing nonfiction and historical fiction, playing piano and guitar, and reading great books. She and her family are currently moving overseas to serve God full time in East Africa. She is excited to obey Christ, and see how He will work in her. You can find her at Proclaiming His Excellencies blogging about her journey with her Savior, and her latest work in progress.