My reflection is from Living Faith:
We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned.
2 Corinthians 4:8–9
“I used to think hope was the same as optimism: expecting things to turn out in the end even when they look grim. I thought hope was dreamy and ethereal￼like wishing on a star or wondering what Santa left under the tree.
I’ve witnessed violence since then, however. I’ve experienced illness and isolation. I’ve watched people I love suffer and have stood helpless to stop it. Those were times when I felt afflicted and driven to despair. Yet, when I turned to God, he was always there. He didn’t swoop in and fix my problems, but he stayed with me in the midst of them and shown a light to the other side. Hope then wasn’t t￼he soft, squishy feeling I used to take it for. It was dogged, not dreamy, believing that God would never abandon me to face my trials alone.
Lord God, when I am driven to despair, help me to hope in you.”