Hanging Onto HOPE In This Chaotic World

“So God has given both His promise and His oath.
These two things are unchangeable
because it is impossible for God to lie.
Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge
can have great confidence
as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.
It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”

Hebrews 6:18-19 NLT

On February 3, 9-year-old Serenity Dennard walked out of The Black Hills Children’s Home Society, a private nonprofit that provides residential treatment and programs for children who are victims of domestic violence, abuse and neglect, or other trauma.

Dozens of people have searched for her for days, also using a helicopter and 7 scent and cadaver dog teams. Because of cold temps and snow, it turned into a recovery effort. But still no Serenity.

I keep praying, “God, please help them find her!” I keep checking up on the latest search news. But still no Serenity.

God, why won’t You answer the prayers of all the people who are praying? You know where she is. Help, Lord!

When something like this happens, I always think the worst. I fear someone who doesn’t have honorable intentions has picked her up. I’m so scared. Not only for Serenity, but for children who are missing everywhere. My heart aches for them and for their loved ones who must be agonizing on what has happened or is happening to their child, grandchild, etc.  

It’s hard not to get distressed or depressed when we know the evil that is happening in this world, whether openly or secretly, to vulnerable children and adults. So much pain and sorrow. So much hate and discrimination. So much abuse and injustice. It can wrench us to the depth of our souls. It can seem so hopeless and we can feel so helpless.

I have been upset with God, because I know He knows where Serenity is. I have been focusing too much on all that is happening in this chaotic world. I have listened too much to all the lies that Satan whispers, sometimes even without my realizing it, that all these things are far too big for God to handle. I have hung onto my pride that my plan is better than God’s. I have let it overwhelm me and I have refused to allow myself to unclench my fists of rebellion and give it all to Jesus.

In Psalm 42, David was taunted, too. He described himself as a deer panting for water brooks, hunted by its enemy. Day and night he wept for God’s help. His enemies scoffed, “Where is this God of yours?”

Two times in this Psalm, David cried out:

“Why am I discouraged?
Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
I will praise Him again—
my Savior and my God!”

Despite all the raging emotions in his heart and the taunting of his enemies, he pushed past all the discouragement that was drowning him and grasped onto the hope there is in God. He remembered his Savior, his Refuge, and his Promise-Keeper who never lies. He recalled how strong and trustworthy our Anchor of Hope is.

Yes, we live in a broken world where bad things happen. Where people choose to hurt people. Where Satan is still fighting to discourage us and keep us from our Anchor of Hope. But God is still in control. He is still the King, even though we don’t understand everything that happens.

Someday we will understand. Meanwhile, however much it hurts, may we together remember God knows and loves and cares. Nothing bad that ever happens will change that truth. Without that truth, we have no hope.

I Have This Hope
by Tenth Avenue North

“As I walk this great unknown
Questions come and questions go
Was there purpose for the pain?
Did I cry these tears in vain?

I don’t want to live in fear
I want to trust that You are near
Trust Your grace can be seen
In both triumph and tragedy

I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go…”

When God Uses An Unwanted Dog to Rescue a Woman

We often hear how someone rescues an abused or unwanted dog, but we don’t always hear of how a dog or another animal rescues us.

Dogs were often my best friends when I grew up on a farm. They often comforted me with their unconditional love, loyalty, and ability to understand what I was feeling.

Some years ago, I read a book called Blind Hope: An Unwanted Dog and the Woman She Rescued by Kim Meeder and Laurie Sacher. It’s an inspiring true story of healing for both a blind dog and the woman who reached out to save her.

When Laurie went to work for Crystal Peak Youth Ranch, her soul was aching. She discovered an unwanted dog who was broken in heart and body and decided to rescue her. But what a surprise when the dog, Mia, actually rescued her!

When they took a walk, Mia would be fine as long as she listened and stayed near to Laurie’s footsteps, but sometimes she diverted to a different path. Once she realized Laurie was no longer next to her, she became hysterical and ran in circles.  At those times, Laurie’s calm voice was not enough to soothe her.  She needed to bend down and hold Mia in her arms as she whispered, “You’re safe, my sweet girl.  It’s okay.”

Once at the height of frustration, Laurie wanted to shout, “How many times are you going to move away from me and then freak out because you think I have left you?  How many times will I have to walk back and scoop you up before you simply learn to walk with me?” 

Then the truth pierced Laurie’s heart – “God has been asking me those same questions!”

Through Mia, God taught Laurie deep spiritual lessons of true acceptance, unconditional trust, and authentic love. 

Isn’t this story a picture of our lives?  When we want to follow Jesus, we often get distracted by the clamor in this world or in our minds. Or we decide our way is better. Or sometimes because of past hurts, we are afraid to trust. So we wander away on our own and eventually realize we no longer hear the footsteps of our Master. Then we get frantic and assume He has left us alone.

Even when we wander away, Jesus lovingly and patiently waits for us to cry out to Him. Then He hurries to us and holds us as He whispers, “You’re safe, My child. It’s okay.” 

Jesus will always rescue us and again bring us onto the right path. To listen for and follow His footsteps. Not our own or another’s. Just His.

“He led me to a place of safety;
He rescued me because He delights in me.”
2 Samuel 22:20 NLT
“Put all your trust in the Lord
and do not rely on your own understanding.
At every step you take keep Him in mind,
and He will direct your path.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 REB

Kim Meeder owns the Crystal Peak Youth Ranch,
a place of hope for abused horses and children. 


“Thank You”
by Jesus Army

“So many times,
You reached out to me,
But I turned my back ’cause I didn’t think you had what I need.
Now you’re everything,
You’re everything to me.
I can’t be without you God,
You’re everything.
And I want to say thank you,
I was lost and you found me,
I was dead inside,
And you breathed into me,
And you brought these bones to life.
I want to say thank you,
Thank you for saving me.
Thank you for loving me unconditionally God.
But I ran away.
‘Cause I was scared of the pain that came with trust.
But I came running back,
Into your embrace…”

It Hurts When People Wrongly Judge Us, But Jesus Never Condemns Us

My thoughts bounce like ping-pong balls in my head or else my mind goes blank and doesn’t remember what I was going to do next.

My heart hurts. Not only because we lost a loved one. Also because someone judged and condemned him. Someone who has judged me in the past. So painful memories are triggered, memories of being judged and condemned by many, even those who I thought were my friends.

Have you ever been wrongfully judged and condemned by people? I’m so, so sorry. My heart hurts for you.

There is Someone infinitely greater who hurts for us far deeper than anyone ever can. So much that we cannot even fathom it. Jesus cries when we cry. He knows and cares so deeply and strongly. He never condemns us. He is all about LOVE and GRACE. Unhurting. Unending. Unfailing.

How priceless is
Your unfailing love, O God!

    People take refuge in
the shadow of Your wings.

Psalm 36:7 NIV
“So now there is no condemnation
for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1 NLT
“The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,
    a refuge in times of trouble.”
Psalm 9:9 NLT
“I am leaving you with a gift
— peace of mind and heart!
And the peace I give isn’t fragile
like the peace the world gives.
So don’t be troubled or afraid.”
John 14:27 TLB

“Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled”

by Helen Steiner Rice

“Whenever I am lonely and lost in deep despair,
I bundle all my troubles up and go to God in prayer.
I tell him I am heartsick and lost and lonely too,
that my mind is deeply burdened and I don’t know what to do.
But I know He stilled the tempest and calmed the angry sea,
so I humbly ask if in His love He’ll do the same for me.
And then I just keep quiet, and think only thoughts of peace,
and if I abide in stillness, my restless murmurings cease.”

“Healing Is In Your Hands”
by Christy Nockels

“No mountain, no valley, no gain or loss we know
could keep us from Your love
No sickness, no secret, no chain is strong enough
to keep us from Your love
to keep us from Your love
How high, how wide
No matter where I am, healing is in Your hands
How deep, How strong,
And now by Your grace I stand, healing is in Your hands…”