It has been said that hope is like a small light in the dark night, or the sun breaking through dark, ominous clouds. My favourite is ‘Death is merely blowing out the candle because the dawn has come.” I can certainly relate to those expressions, as I have had some deeply dark times in my life. But here I would like to share examples of how God has come through for me, met my frailty with His great kindness, and left me unable to jadedly scorn hope as I once did.
When I was pregnant with my first son, I was found to be toxic from the first trimester. From my training I knew we were in trouble, and I was very sick throughout. The embryologist I later worked for thought that because those pregnancies usually end in miscarriage, the obstetrician just didn’t put me in the hospital as he should have. Regardless, I prayed all the way through the pregnancy, and he was born. He was so beautiful that for years people would stop to see him; I was even asked what was wrong with him, his hair was so blonde and shiny, his little cheeks like apples on almost albino skin, and eyes so blue you almost expected to see clouds drifting past them. He simply did not look real.
My youngest son went into horrific seizures that lasted for three days and left him in a coma while the brain kept firing, and I prayed that God would not take him. My personal testimony is based on those days of crisis, but the end result was, he survived. God honoured my prayers. Years later, he would be in an accident in his dad’s van. They were t-boned right where my son sat, and the flying glass sheared off his nostril. The ER staff saved his nose and today there is no scarring. But why he was not injured more than that, is in God’s domain.
I was on black ice driving back from Quebec when my car went out of control, twice in one day, once in Lachine, the second time just west of Cornwall. Both times I was saved, and not a scratch on my car. The last time this happened was a few years later when I was driving westbound up the overpass on Dundas over Hwy. #403. As my steering suddenly failed, my car flew over to the oncoming lane and was aiming to go over the steep embankment. I scrunched my eyes closed when the car careened up to the steel cable by the sidewalk, and as I yelled, ‘Oh, Jesus! This is going to hurt!” Everything stopped. I should have toppled over the embankment and crashed onto the highway below, but all was very still, and silent. I opened my eyes to find my car in the oncoming lane, facing east, perfectly sitting in the middle of the lane. I was in shock. So were the other drivers in the cars passing me, gawking at me. One fellow literally had his mouth hanging open in shock as he peered at me. I have wondered ever since what miracle they saw in action. But it was as if my car had been lifted up at the last split second, and gently placed back on the road. I took the hint from on high that I should take a different route home.
Through hard lessons I have learned to make my prayers more humble, and stopped telling God how to do His job, because what He gifts us is always better than what we want. Even when unwanted answers sear us to the core of our being.
A sacrifice of praise is when we accept the pain, grit our teeth and cry out, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away,” and still faithfully humble ourselves before Him. Our own tears are perhaps the most precious offering we can give, but what He leaves us with is Hope when all our pain will be redeemed and transformed into something holy, glorious and beautiful beyond imagining.
Sylvia Genders, Brampton
Sylvia has had a long and interesting career, from copywriter and editor and academic administration, to ESL instructor and churchworker. Retired, she is the proud grandmother of eight, and enjoys volunteering at several agencies and ministries, playing guitar and singing, and painting.