Hope is Hard | A Lesson From My Son

When my wife and I were navigating infertility and the aftermath of bad decisions, it was hard. Actually, hard isn’t an applicable word. It felt impossible. In that moment, we were no longer concerned with having a family, we were concerned with saving our marriage. The immediate feeling was hopelessness. It was an empty feeling with one logical outcome—giving up. But for reasons beyond logical explanation, we felt God’s presence more powerfully that we had ever felt it before. And it felt like He was saying, “Don’t let go of hope.”

If our life since that point proves anything, it proves that even the slightest ounce of hope tips the scales of impossibility. In fact, that’s what God is in the business of—using hope to accomplish the impossible. Hope gives us a new lens to look through, a lens that sees beyond the physical moment and presses into something deeper, something greater—something unseen. But hope isn’t easy. Hope is hard. Really hard. Like everyone is telling you to give up, hard.

But if we had given up, we would have never experienced a moment like this.

The Gift of a Son

Our son Matthew was the answer to a three-year prayer for a family. A prayer that was answered after doctors had said it wasn’t possible. A prayer that we nearly gave up on.

Just a few months after our rock bottom, we found out that we were expecting a child. A few months later we learned that child was a son. We named him Matthew—meaning “gift of God”. Since his birth, Matthew has had an incredible heart and a larger-than-life personality. By the age of two he was impersonating Elvis and by the age of five he was reciting his states and capitals. His zeal and joy are unmatched. He’s our proof that hope is real.

Last summer, by his own request, Matthew asked me to baptize him as a public declaration of his faith in Christ. That may sound odd, but the kid is fearless when it comes to his faith. He prays for his classmates and even showers his bed-ridden great-grandmother with “Amazing Grace”. Just last week, he drew a picture of our LIFE Center because he said, “God gave him a picture” of what it was going to look like.

But today, I witnessed something remarkable.

The Boldness of a Child

This week, my son participated in a basketball camp at a local church, a camp that my wife help orchestrate. During the latter part of the day, some of the older kids were separated into a room for a devotional time. I wasn’t involved in the camp so I had no idea what was going on. I had simply arrived a few minutes early and was sitting in the lobby working on my computer when I overheard a conversation.

The adult leaders were talking through a devotional about listening and respecting authority. I got the picture of a bunch of kids not listening and defying the very authority that was trying to teach them. But in the midst of the conversation, I heard a familiar voice. It was the voice of my son, Matthew.

The teachers had finished their devotional and were wrapping up when Matthew interrupted.

“Before we finish, does anyone have any prayer requests?”

His words were unexpected and gentle, yet bold. A moment of silence fell over the room. He wasn’t trying to impress his parents, he wasn’t looking for attention and he wasn’t following protocol. He was simply responding to his heart.

As I sat there and listened to the prayer requests from his teachers and peers, I felt a level of pride that I have never experienced before. In that moment, I felt like I heard God say, “This is what I can do with hope.”

Hold Fast to Hope

Some people call me overly optimistic, as if too much positivity is a character flaw. But the truth is, I’ve learned—through tragedy—that hopelessness is easy. It sees and chooses the moment over what is yet to come. And if you’re not careful, you’ll even convince yourself that hopelessness is practical and listen to the applause of those who praise your decision to quit. But quitting doesn’t take any effort. It’s choosing to persevere that’s the real difficulty.

When I look at culture, I see a people who are struggling to find hope—people who have given in to the ease of giving up. But if I had given up years ago, I wouldn’t know the joy that I experienced today. And that’s why nothing will ever rob me of hope. Because when you hold on to hope and give credit where credit is due, it will always bless others. In that way, hope is contagious.

So today, no matter where you are. I challenge you to choose hope. Sure, it’s going to be hard. And there will be countless moments where you’ll want to throw in the towel. But I’m here to tell you that those moments are seeds that will germinate into an orchard-full of fruit of God’s faithfulness.



If you’re looking for a daily nugget of hope, join us in The Portable Faith Community each weekday morning. For less than a few cups of coffee each month, we’ll help you jumpstart your faith with daily doses of hope. Subscribe at www.wakeupmyfaith.com


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