Everyone confronts difficult moments at some point during his or her life. Perhaps you have already experienced distressing and trying seasons filled with events that seem worse than the previous ones, thereby encountering one tribulation after the next. Hence, these become episodes in which you do not see the improvement and positive change you’re hoping for. As a result, you may become worried, apprehensive, and filled with anxiety. Your thoughts may begin to center on a particularly troublesome situation without end. Understandably, it is during these moments that you may feel uncertain as to whether these circumstances will ever get better. But, there is reason to hope…
We read about a woman that felt this way as well in the Gospel according to Mark. For twelve years, she did not see any betterment or positive change in the affliction she was experiencing. She was not only in anguish over her continuous hemorrhaging that worsened over time but also because of the disservices she received at the hands of many doctors while spending all that she had. (Mk 5:25-34) Therefore, her life was deprived of peace given her troubling circumstances, and she felt helpless and forlorn when she discovered that earthly power, knowledge, and wealth have their limits. However, she was filled with encouragement when she heard about Jesus and what He could do for her.
Sometimes our troubles and concerns seem so overwhelming that we feel as incompetent and hopeless as the hemorrhaging woman of the Gospel did. We may be able to say with the biblical prophet, “My life is deprived of peace, I have forgotten what happiness is; my enduring hope, I said, has perished before the Lord,” and “remembering it over and over, my soul is downcast.” (Lam 3:17-18, 20) The thoughts and memories of all we have endured during an era of suffering and adversity can certainly weigh us down with discouragement. But then something happens. At some point when we are thinking about and dealing with these things, a heavenly light of grace illuminates us, and we are capable of saying with the prophet:
“But this I will call to mind; therefore I will hope: The LORD’s acts of mercy are not exhausted, his compassion is not spent; they are renewed each morning—great is your faithfulness! The LORD is my portion, I tell myself, therefore I will hope in him. The LORD is good to those who trust in him, to the one that seeks him; It is good to hope in silence for the LORD’s deliverance… for the Lord does not reject forever.” (Lam 3:21-26, 31)
The hemorrhaging woman concluded that if she but touched Jesus’ clothes, she would be cured. She approached the Lord and touched His cloak, and
Scripture tells us that her flow of blood dried up immediately and she felt in her body that she was healed. (Mk 5:27-29) This story should serve to teach us that we must refuse to lose hope. When hope is gone, what else is left? Having hope is crucial, but in whom we place our hope is even more essential.
In addition, we must recall that no matter how arduous things have become or are, they cannot last forever. All things are temporary, only God is everlasting. And even in the most difficult times when we seem to have the least control and power, God is in total control—even when it seems like He is not. We must let Him be in charge.
Lastly, when we have exhausted all options and recognize that God is the only One left, we also realize that He was really the first and only option. Our Lord Jesus Christ never runs out of power, wisdom or mercy. Therefore, we must never run out of faith, hope, and trust. Truly, each day is a new opportunity that God gives us to further discover how faithful He is to His promises. His acts of mercy are never exhausted! The Lord is compassionate and cares for us. Let us always wait for the Lord with hope, because He never arrives late. The Sacred text assures us, “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:26) This is the saving hope we have that saturates us with joy and peace.