We've curated a 3 piece blog that questioned three different people, all in different walks of life, on what the word "Hope" means to them. This is part one, written by Sarah Hendee.
It is almost impossible to utter the word hope without considering suffering and pain at the same time. It’s all around us in the world. The sickness, pain, injustice, brokenness, and suffering we see and experience produces in us a longing for hope.
I would love to explain away why I’ve seen people die on the streets of Calcutta, India from dirty water and sickness in rainy season or have seen children abandoned because of their gender, mental disability, disease, or burden that their parents thought they would be. I would love to know why I have to work with families who still don’t see enough value in their children and sell them to be raped by pedophiles in Cambodia. And I would love to know why I have walked through some of the painful things that I have in my life. But I can tell you that I have seen an immense amount of hope that has been produced from the pain and suffering in myself and the people in these stories. “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:
And its as simple and difficult as that. When we put our hope in Christ Jesus- the one who has very intimately known suffering in every way, we find His love comes rushing in like a river. A river that envelops us in love, sustains us, and produces life in us. Christ came to the earth to be an example of hope in a human body guided by the Holy Spirit.
A famous Christian author put it this way, “The more we open up our hearts to both heartache and hope, the more we can look death in the face and say where is your sting?” As I have walked through suffering personally and with others, God has given me hope- hope that I can share in some of the darkest moments of others suffering. I don’t think I will ever know why such pain and suffering exists in this world except to produce a longing for hope in us that can only be filled by the one who created us. And I can boldly say, hope is real and I have never felt shame in reaching out towards hope during my darkest moments. I have only come out of them full of more life and love, ready to give it away to others.
If we don’t share in our sufferings and in the sufferings of Christ, how will we give hope away?
Sarah Hendee works for Agape International Missions in Cambodia. She is passionate about social justice, Jesus, and loving those who are often overlooked. She is hilarious, a great cook, and an awesome auntie to an adorable niece and nephew!