When Merry asked me to write a "story of hope" for this website, I wondered if I could do it. I thought, "I don't have all the answers. No! I don't have any of the answers!" Then I realized that this fact is the basis of real hope:
Hope is not a sentimental belief that things will get better.
It is coming to the end of your rope, to the end of your ability to cope with a problem, and giving up and surrendering yourself and the problem to God, to El Shaddai - God All Sufficient - and knowing that He is in control and can handle the problem - and indeed your whole life.
For several years, my food allergies were so severe that I was literally allergic to all foods. I had headaches, diarhea, dizziness, and joint pain, among other symptoms. To stay alive, I ate the most exotic things and reacted even to them. God led me to knowledge, people, and treatment that helped over several years time so that I now have a nutritionally adequate diet, and He disciplined me to trust Him more in the process.
You can learn quickly what I learned slowly about food allergies at my Food Allergy website where you can also read my complete story Our Family's Story of Food Allergies and read about the book that came out of this experience, The Ultimate Food Allergy Cookbook and Survival Guide.
While on a walk this week, I saw a sparrow that had perched on a barbed-wire fence and gotten one of its talons caught in a twist of the wires. It was hanging upside down by its foot. Every minute or so it would flap its wings furiously and try to fly away.
We are often like this bird when faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem. We furiously and ineffectually flap our wings. Instead, we need to stop and cry out to our Heavenly Father. He will hear us and respond. His response could be to miraculously and instantly solve the problem - He can reach up and untangle us from the wires. Or he might show us how to get perched topside on the wire so our talons are at the right angle to pull out ourselves. However, it seems to me that most often He works on our problems slowly. He says, "Wait and learn to trust Me."
When God says, "Wait," if we cooperate with Him, there is produced a "harvest of righteousness and peace" in our lives. (Hebrews 12:11) We grow spiritually, mature, and become more like Jesus. These changes in us have eternal value. Temporal problems are just that - temporal and temporary, even if we live with them for the rest of our lives. When things are dark and desperate, we learn to cling to what we know about God - that He is in absolute control, and that He loves us and seeks only our highest good.
"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life: you stretch out your hands against the anger of my foes, with your right hand you save me. The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever." (Psalm 138:7-8)When you are faced with problems that threaten to overwhelm you, remember and cling to these verses:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." (Isaiah 43: 1-3)
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12)
See more Stories of Hope
See links for Food Allergies and Chemical Sensitivities