Hope in the midst of peril

By Jimmy Cochran


I recently read an article in National Geographic entitled, “Despite Perils, Decide to Hope” which spoke of the importance of finding a hope in the midst of troubles. Our country and our world seem to be inundated with problems and troubles on a daily, if not hourly, basis. We go to sleep with concerns about a possible war with any number of countries, our country is torn to the point of violence over our own political issues, crimes, gangs, protests over (some) important and (some) trivial things, addictions, illnesses of loved ones and friends, the breaking up of families, and so on and so on. With all this and more transpiring in our world and neighborhoods, it is no wonder that the prescriptions for emotional and mental stabilizers are spinning out of the roof.

The other night, I was lying in bed and could not sleep. At all. I felt like I was in a sink of water where the plug was pulled and I got caught in the whirlpool going down the drain. And I could not help myself and the feelings of impending doom grew and grew until I was almost sucked in the drain ... and then I woke up with a full case of anxiety and sweat. I was feeling no hope, just despair and weariness. The cause?

Over the spring and summer, I’ve dealt with acute bronchitis and medicine and inhalers and just general feeling crummy. And, it is much better, but still hanging on. Then, I began receiving enough letters, brochures, books, and phone calls about my impending transition to Medicare. I tried to read everything to make a good decision, but after a while, it was just overwhelming. Why can’t they let us choose these things when we are in our 20’s when our brains are at a better operating speed? Finally, I received information from the University System of Georgia (from where I retired) and talked with a helpful lady who outlined my lifestyle with several plans that would suit me best, and I was able to make the choice. But, I’m still suffering from the experience.

Then, as I mentioned before, my church is closing the end of October, so that leaves decisions that I am needing to make. I have considered it my home since 1966, grew as a Christian and a leader, ordained as a Deacon and as a Minister there, played the piano about 20 years, plus made so many friends and did so many ministry and mission trips and projects. It was very emotional and traumatic for me to have seen the church sign taken down from the front lawn last week. Even though a new church is in place and has been meeting with us for several years, I know they are a sweet fellowship and will do good work in the community. However, it is still an emotional time.

Finally, this morning in the daylight, I was reminded of the verse Paul wrote to the Church in Romans 15:13,

“I pray that God, the source of ALL HOPE, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

This verse can apply to me and to you. We all … ALL … have perils in our lives. Do you deal with it like I did the other night and toss and turn with despair … or do we trust God to deal with the mess and worries, and let our HOPE come from trusting in Him? It is not easy, but when we relax in the arms of God and let Him take over ... well, it’s an unbelievable calmness. He is God and He can handle it all. We just need the confident HOPE that’s promised.

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.

Jimmy Cochran is a resident of McDonough, a musician, a minister and the author of Being God’s and Staying God’s, both available at Amazon.com. Being God’s is also available at Moye’s Pharmacy in McDonough.