Hope is a four-letter word that can mean so much. Such a small word has helped me recover from two surgeries to get most of a tumor removed from my head. It has helped me get out of bed when I didn’t think I could. It has aided me in my efforts to get through three different types of therapies. I know it will be the word I turn to when I undergo radiation treatment after the first of the year.
As words go, hope is not something I normally thought about. Sure I used it from time-to-time. Generally, I used it for situations such as, “I hope there’s not a long line at the movie theater.” Of course, a short line or not having one at all are desirable. None of those circumstances were what I would call urgent.
Realizing that you will have to deal with serious health problems and that you may not survive gives the word hope much greater importance. Other words do come into play, such as prayer. I must admit, that hope helped me to turn to prayer for help and comfort. Certainly, prayers made on my behalf by others must have made a difference. At the same time, I believe that God helps those who help themselves.
A story about a man who prayed to God to let him win the lottery comes to mind. The man goes to church every day for a month and asks that he be able to win the lottery through prayer. After the month has passed and he still hadn’t won, the man gets angry.
“Why won’t you let me win the lottery?” he asks God. The man is furious because he feels he has done what was required. Suddenly the roof lifts up and a booming voice comes down from above and says: “You have to at least buy a ticket.”
For me, undergoing speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy and doing the assigned homework was my way of at least buying a ticket to good health. I would never have been able to get through the frustration and pain without hope that it would all pay off in time.
So for me, hope has become a very special word. It is one that I still rely on to get through the trials I will face in the coming months. Of course, it is closely followed by the word prayer.