There are days we want to be thankful, but, just the same, we can’t feel it.
Just knowing we ought to be thankful helps, but it also hinders. We feel apart from ourselves; hardly on the same page — if that’s even possible.
Some hours are troublesome mentally and, therefore, emotionally and spiritually. Some entire days have us vanquished beyond reasonable sense for what we think we should feel. Sometimes what we feel is incomprehensible. It defies analysis.
Hope That Spreads Beyond Feeling
What does it take to endure such a struggling hour; such tumultuous a day?
We know what it takes: patience, humility, courage, faithfulness, gentleness with ourselves, persisting endurance, even a convenient forgetfulness.
Within all the abovementioned virtue is the unspeakable and incoherent sense that we must just be; like when we pray to God in silence beyond words—in utterances surpassing language.
Hope that spreads beyond feeling is the encounter we have with God in those moments that are uncomfortable; those moments in those hours and days before we are revived again. The hour or day we are revived is usually never too far away – as we look back. Hope has the role of helping us persevere when it’s all we have – and it’s all we need.
Endurance Is the Much Practiced Art
Why do we not give ourselves more credit for our endurance?
The fact that we remain, today and every day, and even on the days we give up, we remain. Remaining alive, living and breathing in this broken world, is a testament to the grace of God and to the tenacity of the human will to subsist on grace alone.
Endurance is something we have had plenty of practise mastering.
So why would we get down on ourselves? Disparaging ourselves has become an art form for too many of us. It would be better to disparage the devil.
Enduring the hour, and enduring the day, is the consistent application of enduring how we have already endured. We could have always done better, I suppose. But perfection is a pretty poor yardstick in life.
Surely the best we can do is to be still within ourselves and know the Presence of God.
Making it through an unsavoury hour, and putting each shaky hour upon each previous hour—in making it through a trial of a day—is the project of hopefulness ventured forth in faith.
Time ticks forward. It always has and always will. When we abide with time things eventually improve. An honest hopefulness is the better way.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.