Where is the hope?
For many of us, this season has been a hard one. Many of the foundations we count on feel less than firm. During this season, many of us feel hopeless — unable to see the light that shines in the darkness.
The idea of hope is important to us at Springs Rescue Mission. It drives much of our messaging but is also very difficult to attain. The tangibles of sheltering and feeding our neighbors in need are simple compared to inspiring hope in those who have lost sight of the light.
We all know what it’s like to feel hopeless, because we’ve all had struggles that seem impossible to overcome. At some point in our lives, the path forward has become difficult to see. At times like those, the darkness seems to conquer the light.
But even in those moments when the light seems to have gone out, there is hope.
Consider the tale of the U.S. Navy submarine USS S-4 (SS-109). The true story goes like this:
“On 17 December 1927, while surfacing from a submerged run over the measured-mile off Cape Cod near Provincetown, Massachusetts, she was accidentally rammed and sunk by the Coast Guard destroyer Paulding on Rum Patrol.
Heroic efforts were made to rescue six known survivors trapped in the forward torpedo room, who had exchanged a series of signals with the rescue force, by tapping on the hull.
As the trapped men used the last of available oxygen in the sub, they sent a morse-coded message:
‘Is there any hope?’
The response, composed by Captain King was:
‘There is hope. Everything possible is being done.’”
But thwarted by high winds and raging seas, rescuers could not save the six men.
In that moment, I imagine that the intangible idea of hope became very tangible to those men. I imagine it propelled them to hang on and fight. The story didn’t turn out the way we would have liked — in many ways, it’s a tragedy — but it underscores what a difference hope can make.
In the darkest moments, the light of hope can shine brightest. And with hope, all things are possible.
If we have hope that things will improve, we can endure almost anything.
The Bible offers a meditation on the concept of hope in Romans 12-12:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Being joyful in hope sounds great, right? Unfortunately, it’s much easier said than done.
The truth is that not everyone is able to find joy in hope, particularly when dreams have been crushed. Many who are experiencing homelessness, poverty and addiction have lost hope. They’ve hit the darkest of times in their life.
That’s why we work hard to provide resources aimed at restoring hope. We provide housing resources that provide dignified ways to realize their dreams of stability and a sense of home. We provide health and addiction resources to help men and women see that a healthier life is possible. And we provide employment training and opportunities to reignite their sense of purpose.
Some find hope in these very tangible ways. Others receive it by simply being loved — by the folks at Springs Rescue Mission, and by God.
As this difficult year comes to a close and we begin to look forward to 2021, may we know that Hope Shines Through the darkness.
*Travis Williams is the Chief Development Officer at Springs Rescue Mission. He’s a global ministry leader who has a passion for helping others live life more abundantly through a relationship with Jesus. Travis is a strategic thought leader and has served global organizations like Focus on the Family and Awana. He’s often called upon as a public speaker and strategist to help organizations get from where they are to where they want to go. Travis has helped Fortune 500 companies achieve financial success, churches achieve growth, and global non-profits help more people. He’s married to his beautiful wife Devon, has three children and loves to enjoy the beauty of his home state, Colorado.
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