5 Things to Do When Life is Hard

Originally published Tuesday, 26 August 2014.

When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Lamentations 3:28-29 (MSG)

“There is no more cancer,” the doctor said, “but we must discuss the way forward.”

My husband and I looked at each other, confused, had we just been given good news. Did Xylon no longer have cancer? Why was the doctor still so serious?

The doctor told us about the chances of relapse, about treatment options, and referred us to a couple of other specialists. 

We walked out of the oncologist’s rooms without the lightness we had expected to feel on hearing Xylon no longer has cancer. 

The last few weeks have been weird. We have been trying to live in celebration of his healing but at the same time weighted down by the big decisions we have to make about my husband’s health. 

Life has felt heavy and hard to take. 

I have lacked hope.

When I read Lamentations 3:28-29 it was like the verses were written for me. 

It’s a pretty prescriptive verse. It basically lists five things to do for hope to appear:

1. Go off by yourself.

2. Enter the silence.

3. Bow in prayer.

4. Don’t ask questions.

5. Wait for hope to appear.

I read it and it sounds so simple. But I know it’s not. Even finding time to go off by myself can be a challenge (and I don’t have kids). And I tend to be a talker and a questioner when it comes to God. 

But I read these five steps and my soul sighs, “Yes.” 

Lamentations 3:28-29 hope pic" height="219" src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lJbCDHVmfW8/U6HRWQKmm9I/AAAAAAAACa8/u-AEh4gvYKI/s1600/when+life+is+heavy+190614+v3.jpg" style="border: none; line-height: 1.6em; position: relative; float: left;" title="Lamentations 3:28-29 hope pic" width="218" /> I know this is what I need. 

I don’t need more TV shows, books, or even bible reading, what I need is God. (tweet this)

So I tried it. I went off myself for five to ten minutes. I sat in silence. Well, at first I put on some worship music but after a minute or two I found it distracting so I switched it off and did as the verse suggests, I entered the silence. 

I got on my knees. I quieted the questions and petitions – that so often come to mind when I pray – and I waited for hope to appear. I waited for God’s goodness to intercept my reality

There were no lights or visions or voices. I lay on the floor, because my knees became sore, feeling slightly stupid but desperate for hope, and I waited. 

And then hope did appear. I remembered how much God loves me, how I’ve lost sight of his love, and that I can trust his love for me

In the silence, I realised that sometimes hope comes in the disguise of truth. (tweet this)

Ponder: When was the last time you went off by yourself, bowed in prayer, and waited for hope to appear?

Pray: Jesus, what do you have for me?

{Share this post}

You can share this devotional on twitter by clicking here. I’d also love for you to connect with me on my Facebook and twitter pages or if you're viewing this via email you can leave a comment by clicking here.

Get a copy of my e-book Life, Life and More Life for free. Just subscribe to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday. In the book I share some of thoughts on how to make every moment count, gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. You can subscribe here

- This was orginally published on my site in June 2014. To read more devotionals like this go to ilovedevotionals.com