Episode #38 Hope for the Weary from the Wilderness. Part 4

Quick Links
From Today's Episode

In part 4 of the Hope for the Weary series, Kelly Hall explains how we can embrace God-possibilities in the weariness of the wilderness. We’ll hear some never-before-shared powerful stories of God’s faithfulness and rehearse a familiar story in the Bible where we see God being jaw-dropping awesome!

Key Takeaways:

  • The E of HOPE: Embrace God’s possible in our impossible.
  • Our impossible stories are no match for Your power.
  • In the overwhelm of life, we don’t have to be afraid because God knows our names.
  • He is doing something in our day we wouldn’t believe if we were told!
Today's Verses
  • Ephesians 3:20
  • Isaiah 43:18-19
  • Mark 10:27
  • Mark 10:46-52
  • Psalm 139:17-18
  • Isaiah 49:16
  • Isaiah 43:1-2
  • Habakkuk 1:5-6

Hope for the Weary from the Wilderness. Part 4

[00:00:00] 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? We’ll hear from people just like you and me, who have experienced God’s faithfulness when life didn’t unfold as they expected.

My prayer is that God would renew our hope in His Word and His love through these conversations.

Kelly: Hey, guys, welcome. I am truly so glad you’re here today. I am finally bringing you part 4 of the hope for the weary series. I’m sharing some stories I’ve never shared before on this podcast, but before I jump into that, I want to mention that I have a hope for the weary collection

If you go to KellyHall.org/freeoffer/, you can [00:01:00] sign up for a hope for the weary collection, it will be emailed to you. It is a six page PDF document that is beautifully decorated and it contains not only the four prayers included in in this series, but they also include all of the prayers and scriptures from the four hope for the weary sections on my website. It’s a very encouraging collection. So I hope you will sign up for that. I did want to mention too that people who are currently subscribers, you will receive an email that has a link to this collection as well.

The title today: Hope for the Weary from the Wilderness. Why the wilderness? Because that’s what it feels like when your story goes long and you’re waiting for breakthrough and there’s no end in sight. And the wilderness is actually where the Israelites physically were when they were waiting 40 years for the promised land.

And you know what’s hard about the wilderness?

I think it’s the ongoing sameness of every day, day [00:02:00] in, day out. How do I hold on to hope when I’m feeling weary and worn out and everywhere I look, it’s just the same dirt and the same landscape and the same impossibilities. And there’s this harsh voice we can hear in our head in the wilderness, and it sounds something like this:

“It’s always gonna be like this. There’s no hope. Breakthroughs never coming. Better get used to it.” But I want to tell you that that voice you might hear in places of weariness, that is not God’s voice. Hosea 2:14 tells us that God speaks tenderly to those who are in the wilderness. And Isaiah 43 God says, Hey, I am doing a new thing.

Don’t believe that voice that tells you nothing’s going to change. This is not the end of your story. Open your eyes. Look for it. It’s coming. And so that’s what this whole series has been about. How do we trust God’s heart when the weight of that weariness remains the [00:03:00] same when we don’t see breakthrough and we wonder if this really is the end to our story?

How does God resuscitate our hope and resuscitate our perspective in these weary places? One thing I’ve realized as I’ve followed the Lord through more than three decades of ongoing loss and heartache, is that the question at the deepest core of my own faith journey is the one you hear each week in the intro of this podcast.

How do I trust God’s heart when his ways and delays keep breaking mine? In these episodes, I’m sharing four practical and personal prayers that God has worked into my life that anchored me more firmly to him in times of weariness.

I share a lot of stories in this series. So if you haven’t listened to the previous episodes, I encourage you to go back. I’ll link to those in the show notes as well. Some of the stories I share will make you laugh. Like the time I ran over my husband with the ski boat. [00:04:00] Some might make you tear up a little,

But I think if you’re anything like me, your heart will be expanded with a bigger, and clearer picture of the power, love, and faithfulness of our very good God. We discovered that God is on our side. He’s not against us. And he’s not only with us, but he’s also for us.

I’ve been teaching from the acronym hope and because it’s been a long time since I released the other 3 episodes, I’ll review the 3 prayers. the H stands for hold. And the prayer is Lord, teach me to hold tight to your word until your voice is louder than my circumstances and your love is larger than my fears. Wow. That is a mighty moment when God breaks through in those areas. The O is Open. Lord, open my eyes to the kingdom story you’re creating. Show me what you’re up to behind the scenes and help me see my smaller story within the beauty and power of your much bigger and better story.[00:05:00]

The P is promises. Lord, give me a promise, a personal promise that reminds me you’re actively working in every area that weighs on my heart. Help me to gather up a pile of your promises to strengthen my trust in you. And then the E is what we’re talking about today. Embrace God’s possible in your impossible. And the prayer is this. Lord, help me embrace and believe your beautiful, extravagant, unlimited possibilities in the current hardships of my life. Unleash your powerful possible across the landscape of my impossible. I can’t tell you the hundreds of times I have prayed this prayer and it so often brings tears to my eyes as I have sought the Lord through some very, very hard seasons of our family’s life.

I love Mark 10:27, Jesus says. With man, this is impossible, but not with God. All things are possible with God[00:06:00] and Ephesians 3:20 says something just as beautiful. God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us. Oh, that just resuscitates my hope, it rescues my perspective and it has broken through the weight of the weariness of that same old, same old, hard stuff countless times.

It fills me with such confidence in God’s faithfulness. And my prayer is that God would do the same for you. That you would gain an unshakable confidence in the truth that God’s possible is actually quite possible right smack dab in the middle of our impossible. I’m going to be sharing some stories where we see God’s possible unleashed. And we’re going to look at a story from the Bible as well that will help us break down the limits that we so often place around our stories.

I want to kick off with a quote. I may have mentioned this before from [00:07:00] Dr. Rob Riemer in his book Soul Care. He explains that when our disappointments rise, our expectations fall. We all know what that feels like. And so the question is, what do we do when our disappointments keep piling up? How do we cultivate hope in an unfailing God. When our picture of God keeps being diminished, we want to be able to recover expectations.

And 1 of the ways we do that is to develop a truer, bigger picture of who God actually is; to see how available he is to us, how powerfully he’s moving in our lives to see how much he loves us. So I’m going to share a story and I can tell you, , this is 1 of my favorite stories my husband and I have recounted over the years.

So I had moved across the country to St. Louis with all 4 of our little children so that our 3 daughters could receive cochlear implants you may remember from previous episodes that our 3 girls are profoundly deaf.

In St. Louis, they’d be able to attend a [00:08:00] school where they’d learn to speak. My husband was an F 16 pilot and the Air Force wouldn’t move him to St. Louis, but he was able to get close enough to come home on weekends for the first year. I was overwhelmed as you can imagine. We lived there for about 17 months and during that time, all three of our girls had surgery to receive cochlear implants and were attending specialized schools. And our twins were actually in the 1st group of 100 children to receive the implants after the FDA lowered the approved age down to 2 years old. So it was a pretty amazing time. We were very, very busy. Our 4 little kids couldn’t really understand each other.

The twins were only about 15 months old when we moved there. They didn’t have any spoken language and my twins had this, rather scary habit of escaping from the house completely naked. During their bath time, I would lock the doors. I put in place every precaution [00:09:00] possible to keep them in the house. But somehow a few times, they managed to escape and run down the alley completely naked and because they were deaf, they couldn’t hear me call for them. And I just had to pray the whole time Lord protect them…. they all survived. I was always able to catch them pretty quickly,

But one thing that really surprised me, it didn’t surprise me that this was hard, but it did surprise me that I was lonely.

There was no military community around. We didn’t have a home church yet. We were trying churches. We didn’t have family or friends nearby. I remember one day I had dropped all four of the kids off at their respective places and I was home for a little while before I had to start picking them up again.

I came into the house, it was a frigid Midwest winter. Those winters were the coldest I’ve ever experienced. If you lived there, I’m sorry, , but I remember I was wrapped up in this huge coat, scarf and gloves, and without taking anything off, I just sat down on the couch and [00:10:00] poured out my heart to God. I talked to him about everything that was going on, everything I was feeling. I prayed my 40 verses of promises that I had on a piece of paper in my Bible.

Some people will say they have a favorite verse. I had a list of dozens that I prayed every day because it took that many to convince me that God really was who he said he was in the middle of my incredibly difficult time. But then I asked God an unusual thing. I asked if he would send someone for me to talk to, someone who could understand our complicated story.

I couldn’t imagine who I would call. I didn’t want to call my family because they would hurt for me. It would increase their pain. They would feel like they needed to come rescue me. So I just told God he’d have to figure it out.I was just about to leave the house to go grab some comfort food when the phone rang the older woman on the other end was someone I’d met at a church. We’d visited. She told me for 3 days. God had been telling her to call [00:11:00] me, but she kept putting him off because she didn’t know how to help. But on that day, as she explains it, he’d begun to shout my name. So she finally pushed aside her fears and concerns and called.

The thing that amazes me about this particular woman is that she was someone who could actually understand our complicated story. She and her husband also had four children, three of whom were also profoundly deaf. They’d moved to St. Louis for the same reasons we had. And her husband had been in the military as well. The laughter, joy, prayers, and tears the two of us shared were like a healing….. Like a healing balm to my heart.

After I hung up the phone, I fell to my knees stunned that God loved me enough to arrange a phone call the moment I needed one. And he’d started doing it three days earlier because he knew that’s how long it [00:12:00] would take for her to say yes. It surprises me that I almost can’t tell this story, even all these years later without tearing up, I was overwhelmed by the thought that God knew my name. It touched me so much to experience God’s intimate personal care in this way.

I knew God saw me. I knew God understood. I knew I wasn’t abandoned. I wasn’t alone and I wasn’t stuck I knew I was safe in his hands and that he was intimately and actively involved in every detail of our lives.

God is faithful to draw near. He is faithful to be our strength and our help and our comfort. God is worthy of our trust, no matter how difficult the thing is that we’re walking through. His love is unconditional, unbelievable, unstoppable, and unshakable. I’m so grateful for the way he loves on us in these overwhelming places.

Isaiah 43 says, fear not for I have [00:13:00] redeemed you. I called you by name. You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I’ll be with you. When you pass through the rivers, they won’t sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned for I am the Lord your God. Your Savior

In the overwhelm of life, we don’t have to be afraid because God knows our names. Not one detail of our life escapes his notice. Not one iota of our hardship is too big for him. Not one tear slides down our face, ignored. The same God who calls the stars by name knows our names. It’s so comforting to know that the God of the universe is on our side. He is with us and He is for us.

I want to tell you two other stories that my sister has given me permission to share.

This was a long time ago. She was much, much younger. She describes this as a time when she had hit rock bottom. She was struggling to find her way in life. She was working at a bar at the time. Nothing wrong with [00:14:00] working at a bar, but the people she met, the lifestyle, the hours were not life giving to her and She knew something was missing. I remember she talked to our dad and just explained everything that was going on and she was really discouraged. At that moment, my dad suddenly had this idea. I love how God works. “I’m going to pray that someone just walks into that bar and offers you a job.” And I’m not kidding you within a week, someone had actually walked into the bar and offered her a job. It was the most amazing thing. And this was such a sweet way for the Lord to show her: I see you. I know your name. This was one of the ways God used to draw her heart back to him.

It was such a cool, beautiful demonstration of how God pursues his loved ones.

I’m so grateful for this particular scripture where Jeremiah declares. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope Because of the Lord’s great love we’re not [00:15:00] consumed…. our despair doesn’t consume us, our circumstances don’t consume us, for his compassions never fail. They’re new every morning Great is your faithfulness….God, we’re so grateful!

There’s another story of a way God intervened in my sister’s life that’s just jaw-droppingly amazing. I love this story and it fills my mind up with the bigness of God, the faithfulness of God, and the beautiful ways he creatively cares for us.

My sister says she was living in a way that kept her separated from God. Although the Lord had pursued her in a few different ways, one that I just shared with you, there was a particular night when she came home really deeply depressed. She was at rock bottom. She was at the end of herself and she knew she could not live even one more day without God in her life. She felt No hope, [00:16:00] and she was in utter despair. She knew she needed God, she reached for her Bible, but she couldn’t read any of the words through her tears. In deepest desperation, through her sobs, she cried out to God and prayed that he would wake up Dad and that Dad would come into her room and pray with her.

Here’s how my dad tells his part of the story. He was sleeping when suddenly he was jolted out of a deep sound sleep by someone calling his name. He woke up abruptly. And tried to figure out who had called him. My mom was sleeping soundly, she hadn’t called him. The only other person in the house was my sister, and she wouldn’t have used his first name.

He closed his eyes trying to figure out what was going on.  Again he heard his name being called with a great sense of [00:17:00] urgency. He knew he had to get up. He walked down the hall. He noticed my sister’s light was on. He knocked on the door. She invited him in. God completely covered this time.

They prayed together, and this is the night she surrendered her life to Christ. And her heart in that moment was flooded with God’s supernatural peace and joy and hope in a way that defies explanation. . She was completely changed. Just like God promises. When Jesus moves in, the wilderness of our lives is transformed with new life. God did a new thing.

My dad absolutely loved to tell this story to anyone who would listen. I remember once Dr. John Bassagnio, who was a pastor in Houston, Texas, had a downtown Bible study. study for businessmen. My dad attended this weekly study [00:18:00] and one day he said, no one has audibly heard the voice of God. And immediately everyone at my dad’s table said, uh, he has….

And I’m so thankful for the opportunity to honor his memory, to be able to share this with you and bring glory to God, which was his greatest delight. He passed away in 2019 and my mom passed away the following year. He just reveled in the creative ways that God moved in people’s lives. He loved to talk about God stories. He loved to believe God to do big things. And I think it’s from him that I just developed this desire to collect every story I could find of how God speaks and how he so powerfully demonstrates his tenderness, his compassion, his creativity, his power, his love, his heart to the world.

He knows our names. He calls our names. It’s so unbelievable. He’s this immensely powerful God who flung the stars into [00:19:00] the sky. And yet he knows us. He knows every detail about us. . He did some things for my sister that day that we might not even think to pray. We might not even know we could expect God to do.

And so it’s so incredibly important to be able to sit in stories in the Bible, to sit in your own stories, to sit in stories like this and allow God to activate our faith. He is a God who is always saying, I am up to something new. I am doing something in your day. You wouldn’t believe if it was told.

I remember once my twins said, how can we ever get married? Because we’ve never even been on a date. And I said, we serve a creative God. He doesn’t need your dating experience to bring you the person that he chose for you before the beginning of time. He parted the Red Sea never done that before, and he’s never done it again.

But God is always in the business of rescuing his people and [00:20:00] loving on his people. He knit us together in our mother’s womb , with a unique identity, we are wired to reflect his heart to this world. He knows who we are. He knows how we are. And therefore, he knows how to speak to us in a way that touches our deepest need. One of our twins did get married a few years ago and it’s just so beautiful the way God brought them together. Our God is a God who loves to do the impossible.

The Bible says that our names are engraved on his hand and in Psalm 139, 17 and 18, it reads, how precious to me are your thoughts, O God, how vast is the sum of them, where I to count them, they’d outnumber the grains of sand on the shore. In other words, he’s always thinking of us and his thoughts towards us are good.

I love this quote by Dr. Anita Phillips in her book, The Garden Within. She says, Faith says it’s possible. [00:21:00] Hope says it’s possible for me. And that’s what these stories do for me. When I sit in the stories of others, when I sit in the miraculous stories of the Bible, I’m reminded that God is really for me, not just for everybody else out there.

He’s with us, with each one of us, and for each one of us at all times in every situation.

There’s another story I love to talk about that always cultivates hope in me…all the time. I have spent quite a bit of time in this story as well. This is Mark 10. It starts in verse 46, and it’s the story of Jesus healing Bartimaeus who was blind.

Jesus and his disciples were walking together with a large crowd. Sitting beside the road was Bartimaeus and he was begging for money. When he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was in the crowd, he began to shout: Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.

And that’s such a beautiful declaration of faith. [00:22:00] Son of David was a messianic term. He was declaring, I believe you’re the Messiah. Many in the crowd told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more. I love that! Son of David have mercy on me.

Jesus stopped and said, call him. And then suddenly, all these people who are telling him to be quiet, they change their tune and they say, oh, cheer up on your feet. Jesus is calling you. So throwing his cloak aside, Bartimaeus jumped up and came to Jesus.

Jesus says, What do you want me to do for you? The blind man said, Rabbi, I want to see. And Jesus said, go, your faith has healed you. Immediately, he received his sight and followed Jesus down the road.

I love this story. Bartimaeus really speaks to me because he refused to be silenced by the impossibilities of his story. He refused to allow his past story, I’ve been blind all my life, to steal [00:23:00] his hope of a new and different future. He refused to be silenced by the crowd’s opinion that he was unworthy of Jesus’s attention. I love that so much.

And just to add a little depth to this story, when Jesus healed his eyes, he also healed his brain. He suddenly caused synapses to grow in his brain that had not been there before.

I met a woman years ago on vacation. She explained this to me. She had been in an accident. She lost her sight for quite a few years, but then a surgery was developed that would restore her sight. She had the surgery, her sight was restored. Because she had been born with sight, the synapses in her brain, the part of her brain that processes what your eyes see and make sense of what your eyes see, they were already in place. So the moment that her eyesight was restored, [00:24:00] She was able to process everything she saw. It was a quick recovery. But she told me that people that are born blind who have this surgery, it was a particular type of blindness and a particular kind of surgery, obviously.

When their sight is restored, if they have been blind their whole life, they don’t have the synapses to process what they see. And so everything they look at is just absolutely overwhelming to them. , They have to learn slowly how to process what they see so that these synapses can be developed in their brain. But some people don’t go through the training and they can’t handle it. So they start wearing dark glasses just to block out what’s there.

I knew this was true about the brain because our girls had been born deaf and when they received cochlear implants, that part of their brain did not have developed synapses to process sound. So they had no response to the [00:25:00] sound of my voice. , they weren’t able to process sound. It took them a long time to train their brain. They had to be in a special school. Their brain had to be trained to process the sounds that they were hearing.

And now all three of our girls are excellent at processing sound. They can talk to us through face timing. 1 of them can talk on the phone without even seeing people’s faces. Her hearing is so good. It’s amazing. I wanted to share that with you just to add a greater. understanding to the healing that Jesus did in that place and also to suggest that

if we’re going to believe God to do new things in our stories, we have to retrain our brains to begin to believe God for a new thing in the middle of our weariness. This is what resuscitates our hope. This is what rescues our perspective.

In Isaiah 19, God says, forget the former things don’t dwell on the past. [00:26:00] In other words, forget all the years of disappointments. Don’t keep letting your disappointments define your future. Don’t keep letting your impossible story limit your view of God.

In Susie Larson’s book, waking up to the goodness of God, she has a chapter entitled dare to dream. And one of the things she writes in there is. God invites us to engage with Him consistently. It’s not waiting for a breakthrough that drains us. It’s passively waiting without activating our faith that robs us. We’re wired for tenacious, hope filled, purposeful faith. Allow me to put it this way. What are you believing God for? What if we dare to dream new dreams right now today?

That’s the same invitation God issues to us through Ephesians 3 20, where he says, God is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us. He [00:27:00] invites us to dare to imagine that this… that what we see is not the end of our story. He dares us to imagine that there will be breakthrough from the weariness that we will come to a place where we’re able to see light at the end of the tunnel. That God will unleash his goodness, his possible across the landscape of our impossible.

I know what it’s like to be in places like this. And so I just want to close in prayer for those who are still waiting for breakthrough. My family and I, we’re still waiting for breakthrough in some pretty big areas. So I’m with you,

Lord, I just want to lift up everybody who’s listening, who is still waiting, who resonates with that verse that says, I am worn out waiting for your rescue God, and I pray Father that you would speak to them and you would help them put their hope in your word.

We thank you that you’re the only source of lasting [00:28:00] hope and that Your Living and active Word, it’s eternal. It never fails. You never fail. You never fall short. You never abandon us. You never leave us alone. And we thank you, God, that we can declare along with the psalmist: I know we’re going to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. And so we’ll wait for you, God. We’ll be strong. We’ll take courage and we’ll wait for you, Lord. Even in these dark places, we’re going to believe that we’re going to see your goodness here. Thank you, God, that you are currently working in every area that weighs heavily on our hearts. This is not the end of our stories. May we be people who look for your goodness, who are willing to retrain our brains so we can dare to imagine that good things could be around the very next corner.

We thank you father, that you’re our Rescuer who makes a way where there’s no way. You’re our Restorer who breathes new life and health into places [00:29:00] of brokenness and disease. You’re our Savior, who can reduce to rubble the mountains of opposition that have loomed for decades. Our impossible stories are no match for your power.

We praise you. We thank you, Father, for all that you’re up to in the matchless name of Jesus, we pray. Amen. I can’t tell you how much it means that you spent this time with me today. Thank you. I’ve poured out my heart in some really tender places. My hope has been resuscitated just sitting in these stories and I pray yours has too. I just want to remind you to check the show notes for your Hope for the Weary collection.

Thank you again so much for being here.

If you were encouraged in your faith today, it’d be great if you’d help get the word out by subscribing, sharing with a friend or leaving a review. I’d love to hear from you. You can reach out through my website, kellyhall. org and pick up some free resources while you’re there. [00:30:00] Thanks for listening to the Unshakable Hope Podcast.

Subscribe to the Podcast
  • Apple
  • Spotify
  • Android
  • Email
  • RSS