Episode #06 Hope for the Weary from a Boat Accident. Part 1

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From Today's Episode

Kelly Hall shares the first of a four-part series seeking to answer the question, how do we hold onto hope in God when I’m weary, Teaching from the acronym H.O.P.E, She’ll be sharing some personal ways God has restored and renewed her hope in Him when she’s struggling with weariness.

Key Takeaways:

Hold tight to God’s Word until His voice is louder than your circumstances and His love is larger than your fears.

Honesty opens the door to hope.

Honesty opens the door to intimacy.

Hope rises when the weary wrestle.

Wrestle through fears and lies until we hear God’s heart.

Today's Verses
  • Psalm 119:81
  • Hebrews10:23
  • John 10:10
  • Psalm 25:14
  • Isaiah 46:9,10
  • 1 John 4:18
  • Deut 31:8
Additional Resources

Hope for the Weary from a Boat Accident. Part 1


Welcome to the Unshakable Hope Podcast, where real life intersects redeeming love. I’m Kelly Hall and this is where we wrestle through faith questions such as, how do I trust God’s heart when his ways and delays are breaking mine? How can I believe God is good when life doesn’t seem good? My prayers that God would renew our hope in these conversations and that each of us would experience the very real power of his presence and love.

Kelly: I wanna welcome you to the first of a four-part series seeking to answer the question, how do I hold onto hope in God when I’m weary, I’ll be sharing some personal ways God has restored and renewed my hope in Him when I’ve been struggling with weariness. These are times when each new disappointment felt like a cheese grater whittling away at my hope.

Each of the four podcasts in this Hope for the Weary series will include a particular event, a story from our life where God [00:01:00] revealed something true about how to hold on to hope when we’re weary. The title for today’s podcast is Hope for the Weary from a Boat Accident, and this is part one. I’ll be talking about the time I ran over my husband with a ski boat, a crazy story. It actually happened and yes, of course. It was an accident, and just so everyone can relax and enjoy the ride, I’ll tell you right up front all ends well. My husband and I have been married 37 years and he suffered no ill effects. From this event. I’ll be teaching from the acronym HOPE: H. O. P. E. Today we’re focusing on the H of Hope, which stands for Hold Tight to God’s Word.

So how do we hold onto hope when we’re weary? The first thing we have to do is hold tight to God’s word and we’re gonna discover what it looks like to hold onto his word in such a way that his voice becomes louder than our circumstances, and his [00:02:00] love becomes larger than our fears. So the cry of our weary heart is this, Lord, we need you to be louder and larger than what we see or feel.

I remember years ago I had a conversation with a friend who is a prolific author and speaker. I gave her a copy of my Bible study, courageous Faith. Then I explained, even though I didn’t know what I’d write next, I knew God had told me it would be a word to sustain the weary. She got so excited. She said, oh, that’s powerful. And it should go right on the cover of your book, A word to sustain the weary. And I thought, I don’t wanna be the weary writer. It sounds so depressing. I wanna be the person who’s writing and speaking about joy.

But then I discovered a verse that turned this perspective upside down. I came across a prayer in Psalm 119 in verse 81. I’m reading from the New Living Translation, the [00:03:00] Psalmist says, I’m worn out waiting for your rescue. And I thought, wow, I love that honest prayer. I know exactly what that feels like.

I know what it feels like to be worn out with all the disappointments and worn out waiting for God to answer my prayer and waiting for a breakthrough that hasn’t come. It’s sort of like this feeling where the disappointments are piling, the story is getting really long and the light at the end of the tunnel seems to have grown, strangely dim.

But look at how the writer concludes his weary, worn out prayer. He says, yes, I’m worn out waiting for your rescue God, but I’ve put my hope in your word. He doesn’t give up on God. He doesn’t come to the conclusion that God doesn’t care. But instead, he finds peace, comfort, and rest by putting his hope in God’s Word.

And suddenly I thought, Hey, this guy is a weary writer. The word weary [00:04:00] no longer seemed depressing. It was just honest. The Psalmist is offering us a key to hope. We see right there in that one prayer that honesty opens the door to hope. And here’s the amazing thing about this prayer. He is expressing his weariness right smack dab in the middle of 176 verses about how much he loves God’s word. He says His deepest delight is God’s word. He talks about how he’s experienced up close and personal, the depths and tenderness of God’s love and faithfulness. He’s not only in love with God’s word, he’s fallen in love with God. And somehow his willingness to be honest about his weariness opens the door to intimacy.

So it’s hard to understand what this looks like lived out in real life, but one thing we know is that we have permission to be weary and we have permission to talk to God about our weariness. [00:05:00] And our weariness is absolutely no indication about the depth and quality of our faith. It’s just a normal thing that we go through.

I love the way Dan Allendar talks about weariness. He said, it’s really about this core struggle to hope despite the circumstances and our limitations, and it’s not so much about stress or being tired. And if you know anything about this kind of emotional and spiritual weariness, you know that even though it does make you physically tired, what he’s saying is true. It can’t be fixed by a good night’s sleep because this kind of weariness is soul deep. , but the question remains , Lord, what in the world does that look like? I need you to help me see what it means to put my hope in your word when I’m feeling weary. Show me.

So now we finally come to the ski boat story. This is what happened. We were, planning a family vacation. We were living in St. Louis with our four [00:06:00] kids. They were about 10 down to six. So our oldest daughter was 10, our son was about eight, and our twins were six.  We found a rustic cabin at Lake of the Ozarks, and the first day we were there, we rented a ski boat and one of those large inner tubes that you can pull behind the boat. The kids were taking turns. Everybody was having a great time. It was a beautiful day.

We were laughing and playing in the water, and then my husband Lee asked me: will, you drive the boat so I can ski? My response was immediate, no way. I’ve never driven a boat. I’m very uncomfortable with that whole idea. I really don’t want to, but Lee repeatedly assured me everything would be fine. Famous last words. So after some quick instruction in boating 1 0 1, I reluctantly agreed and we were off. I actually got the hang of it pretty quickly. [00:07:00] I was even growing so bold as to steer with one hand and wave at other boaters. As I glanced back to check on Lee one time, I was thinking, wow, I’m pretty darn cool. Look at me with this great big machine.

That’s when the unthinkable happened. Lee had fallen. I was turning the boat as I had done before to bring the rope alongside him. When suddenly I noticed that the boat had veered sharply and was heading directly toward his head. I immediately shut off the motor. I yelled a warning, but it was too late as I lost sight of him under the boat. I heard one of our little girls ask, Did you kill my daddy? I was absolutely horrified, but all I could do was pray.

Now I’m a little embarrassed to tell you how I responded. I’m a trained healthcare professional, so I used to think I’d be really good in emergencies, but I wasn’t good at all in [00:08:00] this emergency. I sat in the bottom of the boat sobbing. I didn’t jump in the water to save my husband. I was completely immobilized by panic and fear. It’s weird the thoughts that go through your head at a time like this. In my mind, I actually saw a newspaper with headlines reading Manic wife kills husband in freak boating accident, and then I had this other horrible thought. His parents will never forgive me. How will I ever explain something like this? Well, a few moments later, I heard Lee’s voice as he climbed into the boat. Well, obviously I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you, God. You protected my husband, and the only evidence of our adventurous mishap was an enlarging bulge on his right temple.

Well, it won’t surprise you to know I was ready to head home. I wanted to forget this incident ever happened and go home and recover. But Lee apparently [00:09:00] didn’t need to recover, so he turned to our son and he said, Hey David, it’s your turn. Grab the tube. Well, David didn’t respond. He stood there firmly rooted to the bottom of the boat. He didn’t move a muscle. He glanced at me. Then looked at his dad and asked a wise and calculated question, Is, uh, mom driving the boat? My immediate thought was, mom is never driving another boat in her life, but Lee calmly replied, without any additional commentary I might add, No, I am. I’m driving the boat.

The memory of David’s response never fails to put a smile on my face. But there are two things about this moment that truly amaze me, and this is the point of the story. First of all, we know David was terrified to get in that tube after what he had just witnessed. But in instead of shutting down, instead of [00:10:00] ignoring his fear and just pushing through, instead of pretending he wasn’t afraid, instead of stuffing it,

He was honest. He didn’t use the words, I’m afraid. He was too young. He really couldn’t have put all that he was feeling into words. But he engaged in a conversation about his fear, and this is huge, and this is the key. This is what set him free from fear. He could have said, Hey, I’m tired. I’m done. And that would’ve been a lie.

It would’ve been harmful. Suddenly, fear would’ve been something that shuts him down. Fear would’ve become the loudest voice in his life. It would’ve made him miss out on so much of the adventures in life God had for him. But he engaged his fear. He wanted to go out there on the lake, and he didn’t wanna miss out on the fun.

Honestly, it’s pretty surprising that David instinctively knew and understood that the most [00:11:00] important question he could ask was who? As he wrestled with a decision about whether he would leave the safety of the boat, he realized that was the only thing he needed to know, Who was driving the boat?

In whose hands was he entrusting his life?

Kelly: The only thing required to silence his fear. The only thing standing in the way of enjoying all the fun his father had planned was to know that the one driving the boat was worthy of his utmost trust. I’m sure the spiritual applications are becoming quite clear. It reminds me of John 10:10. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly.

Our lives can be held captive by fear, worry, anxiety, stress , and self-sufficiency, but Jesus comes with his rescue. [00:12:00] Through His Spirit. He wants to give us all of the abundance of his joy, his kindness, his faithfulness, his strength, and he wants to pour out more love and grace and mercy then we can ever imagine.

As soon as David knew he could trust the one driving the boat, you could see the fear and anxiety leave his body. His joy returned. This is what we learn from this story about how to hold on to hope when we’re weary. The one thing, the main thing is we have to wrestle through our fears, our lies, our confusions, until we’re able to hear God’s heart. We need to know who’s in charge. We need to know who’s in control of our life. We have to wrestle through everything that’s standing in the way of fully trusting in God. That’s the only way to hold onto hope when we’re weary. I [00:13:00] have found it’s absolutely impossible to land in a place of hope unless I wrestle through everything that’s standing in the way. I can’t hear God’s heart. I can’t hear his messages of love. I can’t hear his promises of safety and security and care. I can’t hear him saying, Kelly, I’ve got you and I’ve got this. Don’t you worry about a thing, because the loudest voice in my life are my fears and my worries and my doubts.

But what does this look like? I was living in San Antonio. This is something that happened many, many years ago. Our four children were very young.

Our oldest daughter was five, our son was two. Our twins were about six months old. They had been diagnosed as profoundly deaf, just like their oldest sister when they were only two weeks old. our son has normal hearing. We discovered when we were pregnant with David that Lee and [00:14:00] I each have a set of recessive genes that caused the deafness, but there was no family history, so we had had no reason to be concerned until our first daughter was diagnosed.

Well, this was a time when I was very weary. Adjusting to having twin babies, adjusting to having four children. Adjusting to having three children with special needs was overwhelming, to say the least. When the twins were only six weeks old, they received hearing aids. I don’t know if you can even imagine what a challenge it was to keep hearing aids in these little babies’ ears.

I would hear them squealing from across the house, and I would run and, and rescue them out of their mouths. I ended up only being able to keep those hearing aids on if I were in the room. Our oldest daughter was five years old and we had started with sign language for with her, and then transitioned to [00:15:00] spoken language.

But every single communication we had with her was very difficult, very time consuming and required a great deal of patience she had such a cheerful heart, but this is what our communication was like. She would say either through sign or spoken language. Dog laugh and that was it. And then she would smile and I would have no idea what she was talking about.

Is she trying to tell me about something that happened at school? Is she telling me about something that happened in a dream? Is she telling me about something she wished would happen? There was no context in her stories, in her vocabulary, and so I would ask a multitude of questions and I would finally get to the core of what she was saying.

The dog made me laugh.

So this was something she had actually experienced. And then I’d try to teach her how to say it. The dog made me laugh. [00:16:00] Then she would repeat those words and I would correct your speech. She would repeat it back again, and then I’d finally be able to respond to what she said. Oh, the dog made you laugh. That is so fun!

So you get the idea that every communication with her was exhausting. She was so much fun to be around, but we had these three other very young children to take care of trying to potty train David, trying to keep hearing aids in our baby’s ears, trying to teach them to lip read, to watch my face so they could, learn to pay attention to the thing they needed to know most. Life was easily overwhelming and pretty exhausting.

So one evening all the kids were in bed. Lee and I were sitting outside our house in the driveway, just enjoying the evening, and I began to talk to him about how scared I felt for the future of our kids. I looked at our oldest daughter who was five, and [00:17:00] we had worked so hard with her speech and our communication, but in so many ways we’d made very little progress it seemed, and I thought, In five years, if that’s where we are with the twins, I just don’t even know how we’re ever gonna get through this. I don’t know how they’re ever gonna be able to communicate well. I don’t know what this looks like, and we’ll be moving every two to three years because Lee was a fighter pilot in the Air Force, and so I just began to see this whole long impossible road opening up in front of me.

And as I talked more about it, I panicked. My voice got louder as the fear began to rise, I noticed the people who were out for their evening walks started turning to look at me. Lee responded to me, Kelly, don’t you know that God loves you? And I thought, yes, I know God loves me. I believe that. But I don’t [00:18:00] understand why that’s not helping me. That’s not even coming close to touching the fear and the panic in my heart. And so I realized what I really needed to do was talk to God about this. I went inside, I curled up on my bed. I just poured out my heart to God, and I told him the deepest, truest, most honest things that I was feeling.

I told him I was scared for our kids’ future. I didn’t know what this was gonna look like. I didn’t know how in the world any of it was gonna work. I was scared to death and I needed him to talk to me about it, and this is what I love. After I had poured everything out, God began to speak and that’s what he does.

He is a God who speaks. Psalm 25 says He confides in us. And he gives us wisdom generously. That’s James 1. We’re not alone. We have a God who is not distant, he’s near. We have a God who pays attention, who is [00:19:00] intimately involved in every detail of our lives, and he’s a God who speaks to the deepest and truist needs of our heart.

So the first thing he did was remind me of something that happened about four years earlier. This was the day that our oldest daughter was diagnosed as being profoundly deaf. The two of us were living with my parents because Lee had to go to Korea for a one year remote tour. We weren’t allowed to go.

On the day that the doctor told us our daughter was deaf, my heart was shattered. It seemed broken beyond repair. I went to the floor when we got home and I just poured out my broken heart to God. I didn’t know how we were gonna get through this. I’d never experienced grief like this, but after I had finished pouring out my heart, God did what he does and he began to speak.

He reminded me of [00:20:00] stories I had heard from the time I was very young, books that I had read, the story of Joseph in the Bible. And all of these stories were stories of people who had walked through something hard and then God had miraculously transformed it into something that was very, very good. And I felt him saying to me, Kelly, I will work in and through this situation to bring glory to my name. You and your family are gonna be very blessed, and you’ll see my hand of goodness up close and personal. You’re not gonna have to read about it in some book. At that moment, I was surprised to notice that grief and hope could reside side by side in the same heart, I actually had a sense of anticipation of the goodness we were gonna see and the faithfulness [00:21:00] of God we were gonna experience.

Later that day, my mom and I went out to grab some food for dinner, and I ran into a woman holding the hand of her little boy who had hearing aids on. We began to talk. It turned out she was a Christian and she was able to give me the phone number of a place where my daughter could receive help for her deafness. At the end of our conversation, she said to me, you know, I’ve never been here before tonight. We decided we were gonna go out to eat as a family, and this was a place we’d never been to before. I didn’t know why we ended up here, but she looked deep into my eyes and said, but now I know as I walked, Away from this God-ordained encounter, God said to me, see Kelly, I will never leave you or forsake you. [00:22:00] I sensed his presence and his love and his power in such a way.

Tears started rolling down my face and I realized that God’s faithfulness hadn’t stopped there. Lee was already on a plane coming home from Korea for a three week leave on a date he had chosen 10 months earlier. God is faithful. He was making it very clear that he had gone before us orchestrating the events of this day.

  • Not one detail had taken him by surprise. Not one tear that slid down my face went unnoticed. Not one need was left untended in my heart. God wasn’t twiddling his thumbs. He wasn’t uninvolved. It ministered to my heart so deeply to see the sovereignty [00:23:00] and love and faithfulness of God in that moment.

He was the one in charge. He was the one driving the boat.

Now remember, this whole thing is unfolding in my mind while I’m curled up on my bed in San Antonio. Then God took me back even further in time to when I was 14 years old. I was getting up early every morning. I was reading my Bible and praying through the Psalms. It was such a fun time for me because I discovered how very near God was. I loved spending time with him in this way . During this same season, I had been reading books by various authors. About their stories, how they walked through hard things, and how God had supernaturally worked in and through those things to minister to other people, to hand hope to other people.

I had been [00:24:00] reading a particular book about a woman who had a daughter born with special needs, she was honest about how hard it was. But the ways God moved and worked in that situation, the way she grew in her faith, the way she fell more in love with Jesus, the ways other people fell more in love with Jesus were so impactful that I prayed:  God when I grow up, I wanna walk through something hard so that other people can see that you’re a God who’s faithful and you’re worthy of our trust. And maybe, Lord, I will adopt a child with special needs. As I remembered that for the first time in a long time, in that bedroom in San Antonio, I was stunned.

I was stunned with this picture of God’s sovereignty. I was stunned by the fact that he is a God who lives outside of time he knew my whole story. [00:25:00] He knew what was coming, and he so faithfully and graciously stepped into that moment as a young teenager and began to shape my theology of suffering and give me this vision of how I wanted to live my life.

This was amazing for me as God repeated and reminded me of all these stories. Once again, he is just speaking this promise into my heart. I will never leave you or forsake you. That promise he gave me way back then was the same promise he was giving me that day, and remembering all the ways that he had met me and worked and moved and orchestrated, filled my heart with a deep sense of peace.

And I said, yes, Lord. Thank you. You are sovereign. You are faithful. You’re in charge of everything that’s going on. No one and nothing can stand in your way. , I remember [00:26:00] Isaiah 46:9-10, You are God and there is no other. You are God, and there is no one like you. Your purposes will stand. and I just continued to pray. God, you’ve got us . You see us. You understand all the what ifs and the what abouts.  You hold our present and our future securely in your hands. We can trust you to care for our every need. You love us. You love our girls, you love our whole family more than I can ever even imagine. And you will help us. You’ll give us grace to help the moment we need it. You’re faithful.

I experienced the presence of God in such a powerful way. His voice was louder than my circumstances, and his love silenced my fears. Psalm 51:6 reminds us that God delights in truth in the inward being, and he teaches us wisdom as we [00:27:00] relate to him in this place of truth.

So we learn the best thing we can do if we wanna hold onto hope when we’re weary is wrestle through all of our fears , tell Him the truth about our confusion, and our doubts, and as we wrestle through everything standing in the way, that’s where we’ll be able to hear God’s heart. And here’s the other thing that’s happening. He gives us a bigger picture of who he really is, and he helps us through his spirit to wrestle through our puny understanding of his heart and replace it with the truth of his powerful presence and love.

He is worthy of our trust, and as we immerse ourselves in his word and we tell him the truth about what we’re going through, he will help us understand who he really is. We will experience his love. We will experience him speaking to us, speaking to the [00:28:00] deepest needs of our heart, he will give us hope in our weary places. You know when David asked, who’s driving the boat? and his dad said, I’m driving the boat. Well, why did David suddenly feel so comfortable? Why was he suddenly free of fear? He had a history with his dad,  He knew his dad was excellent at flying fast jets, driving fast cars and maneuvering fast boats. He had a long history with his dad and he honestly hadn’t seen his dad fail at anything he attempted. Not that he hadn’t, but David hadn’t witnessed it, and so he knew his dad could be trusted.

We’re told in Hebrews 10: 23 Let us hold and swerving to the hope we profess for he who promised his faithful. The more time we spend in the word, the more time we spend talking to God from honest places in our heart, the [00:29:00] more we get to know and experience his faithfulness and his love.

The only way to hold tight to God’s word when we’re weary is to wrestle through everything standing in the way until we’re we’re able to embrace the truth that God is with us and for us in all his love and power at all times. Here’s the key takeaway. Hope rises when the weary wrestle. That’s what we saw in David’s story when he was in the ski boat.

Hope rose as he wrestled through his fears. Fear didn’t have the last word. His dad had the last word. His dad said, I am. I am driving the boat. And David was no longer afraid. God says to us, I am. I am the one in charge. I am the one and only true God. No one can stand in my way. No one can keep my plans from being carried out

I’m gonna close with one more [00:30:00] story this happened in 2020. My dad had passed away in October of 2019. Both my parents were suffering from dementia, which we later discovered was probably Alzheimer’s. We moved them in with my sister and her husband. They were so gracious and such beautiful, beautiful caregivers for my parents. My mom was starting to fail.

I was on a plane heading to Baltimore to be with my mom to care for her for a week while my sister and her husband got to get away and have a much needed break from caregiving. And I wanted to enjoy this time with my mom because I didn’t know if it would be the last time I would ever see her in person. But, it seemed like everybody in our life was in crisis. In one form or another to varying degrees, and some of these [00:31:00] crises had gone on for quite some time and had been quite complex.

As we were descending into Baltimore, I leaned my head against the window. tears began to run down my face, and I said I just don’t know how I can do this. How can I be fully present with my mom when everybody in our life is in crisis? My heart is breaking. I feel like I needed to be home with my family, and I was so worried.

I felt God draw near and say to me, Kelly, I’ve got your family. And I responded, but what about, and I listed a family member and God replied, I’ve got them. I listed another family member and God said, I’ve got that one. And what about, I think I was gonna list every single member of my family and extended family.

And it was almost as if I heard God chuckle, I’ve got your whole [00:32:00] family. You can trust me. I’ve got them. As God spoke, he filled my heart with his unbelievable love, and my fears were vaporized. There’s a verse that says, perfect love casts out fear, and that’s what happened. His perfect love invaded my heart in such a powerful way that every fear was silenced.

God freed me from being held captive by all those fears, and he set me free to love my mom with my whole heart without any worries standing in the way, and I had a beautiful time with her.

Remember John 10:10: the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly. Hope rises when the weary wrestles. How do we hold onto hope when we’re weary? The H of hope is this. We [00:33:00] hold tight to God’s word until his voice is louder than our circumstances, and his love is larger than our fears.

That’s what the psalmist did. Lord, I’m worn out waiting for your rescue, but I’ve put my hope and your word. And he found a place of comfort and rest in the faithfulness of God.

That’s what happened with me the day in San Antonio. God silenced my fears with the magnitude of his love.

God is faithful. He will never leave us or forsake us.

Lord, we wanna be people who are honest, but we get so used to lying to ourselves, we don’t even know how. So I pray God, that you would move and work in our hearts and you would uncover the deepest things. Thank you that you’re a God who speaks. Thank you that you can teach us how to hold tight to your word until your voice is loudest. Thank you that you are with [00:34:00] us and for us in all your love and power at all times. We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Thanks for listening to the Unshakable Hope podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe and leave a review. To continue the conversation and for free resources, be sure to visit me@kellyhall.org. Thanks so much.


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