Having hope is very elusive to so many of us nowadays. Each way we turn, discouragement hits us in the face. But, there is always a flicker of hope within the ones who have invited God to reside within our hearts, as He adds just enough fuel to the small flame of hope to keep it burning, even when our circumstances are taking us down.
That is what Katie Davis Major’s book, Daring to Hope Finding God’s Goodness in the Broken and the Beautiful, shares with readers.
This book is the second in the story of Katie Davis Majors and her life in Uganda. In her first book, Kisses from Katie A story of Relentless Love and Redemption, she faced some hard things but still viewed her world through rose colored glasses. (read my post on this book at… https://janehgreen.com/understanding-god-in-times-of-crisis/)
As Katie grows older, and faces more tragedies in her life, she begins to question… “Is God really good? Does He really love us?” She turned these questions over to God and as she did, she was drawn into an even deeper relationship with Him. I am going to quote the back book cover, because the words are so deep and relative for us today.
“Daring to Hope is an invitation to cling to the God of the impossible—the God who whispers His love to us in the quiet, in the mundane, when our prayers are not answered the way we want or the miracle doesn’t come. It’s about a mother discovering the extraordinary strength it takes to be ordinary. It’s about choosing faith no matter the circumstance and about encountering God’s goodness in the least expected places.”
Katie says, “We’ve been wounded. We all have…. but like Jacob, we walk limping and with new and greater understanding of our Father God. In the wounding, He has changed us, renamed us (p. 39).”
We think we are all so different. I have come to believe that we are all the same. God made us with the same emotions, ability to be wounded, feelings of anger and offense. But, we are not to have offense. We are to work through our offenses with the Lord’s help, come out on the other side, and use our offenses to make life better. (My thoughts.)
Katie says, “Status, culture, and language mean nothing in light of eternity. Race, age, and life experiences fade away (p. 58).” She continues on page 59… “the more I asked my Father God to give me His eyes for the people He brought into our life and home, the more He confirmed that He did not view anyone as the next ministry project or person to be evangelized but as someone just like me who needed to be lavished with His undeserved, unmerited blessing, love, and favor. He was changing my vision, again giving me eyes to see that we most deeply experience His beauty when we walk with others in the darkness….I began to practice the art of being interrupted.”
I love what Katie shares on page 61. “The world would teach us that once we are broken, we cannot be used, we cannot be strong, we cannot be happy. But this is not true…. God uses all things, even pain, for His glory….He teaches me to view pain as a holy invitation to know Him more so that I can share Him more.” And on page 71… “Dreams die and seasons end and terrible, unspeakable things happen that don’t make much sense, but God is not done with us yet.”
During an extremely difficult time Katie writes, “Though I didn’t want to admit it, and maybe it took me months to articulate, I felt that maybe God had not heard our cries for help or, worse, maybe He had ignored them. I thrashed against Him and hurled these ugly accusations at Him, but still I could not deny the fact that He was near. His peace was evident in our home. His love wrapped around me like a warm embrace. He didn’t take away my pain; He held me while I hurt. (p. 77).”
I struggle on a daily basis… what am I doing for the Lord? Everyone says He has a path for us… that if we find it, we will do great things for God… and then that day ends like the day before and the day before that.
Katie was led to see God’s bigger picture in her days. She says, “Slowly, I was beginning to understand that it wasn’t my productivity that God desired; it was my heart. It wasn’t my ministry God loved; it was me. God was glorified, is glorified, when we give Him our hearts, give Him ourselves, and faithfully do the thing right in front of us, no matter how small or trivial (p. 98).”
As I end this post, I will quote from page 120, words from Katie that resonates deeply in my soul and will probably resonate in yours as well. As I said before… whether we realize it or not… we are all the same.
This is what Katie says about her hope. “My hope is a flickering flame that has weathered wind and storm. Somehow, God will not allow it to be completely blown out. He sustains me. No matter how desperate things become, somewhere deep inside me He has placed the audacity to hope, the daring to believe that this time, things could be different….This hoping is the exercising of faith….It is an awkward dance, knowing that He might say no and that I could still trust in the mystery of His plan, yet still expectantly asking that He might say yes. It is blind and it is trusting and it is intimate….hope is my great offering to Him. It is a meager offering, but it is all I have.”
My hope is that you will add this book to your library. It teaches you to learn to trust in God and His love, no matter what we are facing in this world… and really… our hope is not in this world but in the one to come.
I recommend this book for late teens on up, male or female, to help strengthen your walk with God when you are having a hard time understanding His ways.