Yes, the title is a bit oxymoronic. Isn't Hope always happy or … hopeful?
A few nights ago, I rolled over in bed to grab my husband's left hand. I do this sometimes just because I love him, but mostly because his left arm gets spastic during the night and it stretches out toward me, becoming a stiff beam across the bed and locking me into an uncomfortable position on an outer sliver of the bed. If I hold his hand or stroke his arm, sometimes the tone will soften and I can push his arm back toward his side and reclaim some of my part of the bed.
As I reached for his hand that night, I was only half awake. Strangely, I was greeted by movement. I squeezed his hand, and he fluttered his fingers back. Still being groggy, I did it again, wondering why it seemed strange to me. Then my eyes shot open and I asked him, “Is that your left hand moving???” Sadly, his response was, “No.” He was using his right hand to stretch out the fingers in his left hand, which sometimes become uncomfortably tight during the night. He wears a splint on his left hand to keep it straightened out instead of shrinking into a tight ball, but sometimes his finger pull out of the splint and do their own thing anyway. He had been fumbling with his fingers to get them to cooperate enough to get them back into the splint. I had grabbed his right hand, not his left.
Of course, I was disappointed. But I was also somewhat surprised that, in my sleepy fog, it didn't seem so strange to feel his hand moving. It was as if, somewhere in my subconscious, I knew it would happen some day.
But in my conscious mind, I realized that I have given up hope for Al to experience any further physical recovery. I no longer expect my husband to walk perfectly or to regain the use of his arm and hand. Is this reality, or am I becoming a pessimist?
There is a reality in the medical world that says his chances of regaining further mobility at this point in his post-stroke rehab are slim to none. But there is an even greater Reality that says that everything is possible for him who believes.
The father of the boy whose son was possessed by demons said to Jesus:
“'If you can'?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
It is time to return my true Hope to the One who deserves it. I do not hope in the medical community, although they have much to offer. I choose to hope in Jesus.
Lord, I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief.