A quote from ― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
“I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been – if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you – you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing is ever going to happen again.”
Some nights just seem so dark, some days for that matter. Can you identify with the quote above? I can, I have been there, cried out, dried out my tears. Had that feeling of emptiness. Often, we say that, ‘Hope comes in the morning.’ Or ‘you’ll feel better in the morning.’ But that isn’t always true. Sometimes things feel as dark when we wake into the bright sunshine. Hope still seems as far away. Tears just keep coming and they do not dry up. I am writing this for all of you, because I have been there, I do know what it feels like. It is a place I know.
Despair is the most awful feeling of all. That sense that nothing will ever be the same again. Life is meaningless and empty. The very light goes from around and within us. Even when standing in brilliant sunshine, we are in darkness. Even when surrounded by friends and family, we are alone.
It’s no good me saying you will feel better. Things will improve. Light will come. Pain will cease. Because you won’t believe me. I would not have believed myself when I was in the darkness. There is a word bandied around that has lost it power and meaning through overuse; ‘faith’. Whatever I say, you will have no ‘faith’ in those words. They will be trite and meaningless.
‘Faith’ is to ‘put our trust in’, ‘put our weight on’. The reason that anything I say about hope and the future is ultimately empty is that you have no ‘faith’ in me. You cannot put your whole trust in me nor lean your whole weight on me, I would collapse under it. The same goes for your friends and family. The same goes for tv personalities, stars, gurus, writers, experts etc. People collapse under the weight of our expectations. If you want to be able to ‘put your weight and trust’ on something or someone, then it must be up to taking that weight and trust.
There is only one place to turn that is up to the job, and it is where CS Lewis turned; God. Because faith can only have meaning and power if it is faith in something or someone that can bear it. I want to make two asides here:
1/ Don’t switch off to truth because you think, yuk religion. This is about ‘faith’ not religion.
2/ I trust in God, but I am not claiming that makes things simple or easy. I am not being trite.
How do you go from a place of absolute darkness to a glimpse of hope? That bit is simple. God is always waiting with open arms. He sent Jesus Christ into the world so that we could be rescued. As it’s recorded in the Gospel of John chapter 3 verse 16:
“16 God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.” (Contemporary English Bible)
You see not only is God the only one who is able to ‘bear the weight’ of our expectation and is worthy of our trust. But he is also ready and waiting with open arms so that as we turn in ‘faith’ to him, he has already turned to us. If that sounds too ‘religious’ to you, then you have a very different view of religion to me. It is in fact the only hope and future that we really have.
Hope does come in the morning even when we cannot see it. God is there waiting for us. For those of us who already know him, we can still suffer despair. As I said, life isn’t simple just because you have faith. The Psalmist talks of this in Psalm 6 verses 6-7:
“6 My groaning has worn me out.
At night my bed and pillow
are soaked with tears.
7 Sorrow has made my eyes dim,
and my sight has failed
because of my enemies.”
The difference is that when you have faith in God, and you are in desperation and tears, then you know where to turn. In turning to God through Jesus we are assured of hope and peace. See Romans chapter 5 verses 1 & 2:
“Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.”
If you have stayed with me to this point then I have two suggestions:
1/ If you already have faith in God, keep on going.
2/ If you don’t, then turn to him. Or at least investigate further. Check out a free Alpha course: https://alpha.org/
Hope really can come in the morning.