Without Hope   Leave a comment

Knockaderry lake at sunset

Knockaderry lake at sunset (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night I was having a conversation with some very dear friends.  During the conversation we began discussing a ministry that we have been involved with for quite a few years.  We were sharing thoughts about the future of the particular ministry and that it may be time to bring a close to it.  That caused me to think about other ministries and projects that seem to be ongoing but appear to be lacking enthusiasm, effectiveness, and/or resources.  I was left to ponder the question, “Why do we keep ministries and projects going when they have come to the end of their meaningful life cycle?”

My first response to the question is that when we have seen success in something, it is hard for us to release it.  We spend a lot of time, energy, and resources trying to recover the high level of success that it once had.  In some ways it is similar to when death arrives and we have to release someone who we love.  We have wonderful memories that we do not want to fade away.  We use all manners available to us to resuscitate the project or ministry.  We keep it on life support for as long as we possibly can.

My second response is that we have a deficit in our hope chamber.  We are afraid that if we put a dignified end to the project or ministry, we will have nothing left.  Our hope in something new coming our way is limited at best.  There is also a level of concern about our usefulness.  Our hope that we will be of benefit and value in a new and different way is missing.

What I have come to realize is that we do not have to be without hope even if our treasured ministry area or project is ending.  How am able to accept this as a reality is through my belief in the promises that my Lord has made.  Jesus tells us of the hope found in him.  The psalmist writes about the hope that is found in the Lord.  We are reminded throughout Scripture in the stories and words of the authors that God brings hope to all people.

So whether it is a ministry area in which we are involved, or a work project, or a community project that clearly has lost its effectiveness, we must realize that leading it to a dignified end is only opening the door to a new ministry area or project.  We are able to redirect our resources, energy, and enthusiasm to a new thing.

We are not without hope since we believe in the Lord, so let’s stop acting like we have no hope.


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