There is something about the word “hope” that makes so many people want to listen to what is being said. Have you noticed that those who spread hope are the ones who have the most joy? Have you noticed that the ones who spread hope often are the ones who face some of the hardest times with health?
In my 45 years, I have watched many people who have battled with health issues. I watch them because they are usually the ones who are there to tell you how great the day is. I remember back a few years ago I met a young lady who was confined to a wheelchair. She would have to take a handicap bus to church. Because she was disabled, she had very little income. Yet every time she was at church she was the one trying to help others with her joyful spirit.
She told of a hope that all of us must have; she talked of how God was her daddy. She did not let the problems of this world get her down. If they did, she never showed it. Yet she was in a wheelchair. For her to get ready to come to church with us on a Sunday more than likely took an extra two hours of getting ready. But she was giving you hope in a better tomorrow. After a few years of talking to her I found out she had the mind of a 12-year-old. She was still a child. Do you remember the hope you had as a child?
When we ran the theme of “Hope and Change” earlier this year, I told the story of Terry Purdom and his struggle with multiple myeloma, which is an incurable cancer in the bone marrow. Terry has spread his message of hope for years. Since telling his story I have noticed over 40 of my friends have gone over to follow his Facebook page and check out his sites. That is a great thing for me to see.
I have spent some time with Terry at a few events this year. Last year he took a three-month motorcycle tour to spread hope to people with cancer. He had a coin made and sold the coins to help raise money — not just for his trip, but to give hope. Terry was one of the people who made the epilepsy benefit event I spoke at in September possible. The ride took off from the Harley dealer he now works at and he was willing to get up at 4:00 am and open the doors so people could use the bathrooms and have some coffee before starting the ride.
Like the story of my dad, you would think a person who has been through the health problems of Terry would be all depressed. But, no; Terry is spreading hope to others. What is his biggest challenge in life? If you ask him, he will tell you it’s spreading his message of hope.
If you are having a tough time getting around this concept of hope, you need to look at those who deal with health issues in their lives. It amazes me to hear them say it’s harder to deal with spreading my message of hope than it was to go through an incurable form of cancer.
This year, we lost Steve Jobs to cancer. Even he was out spreading a message of a better world and he worked until he couldn’t work any longer to make a better world through technology. It may not be a message of hope, but it’s a message that there is a greater tomorrow past the pain we are living with today.
In 1992, I woke up in that hospital bed and the doctor told me that I had had a seizure. Because of that I had to find a new line of work; I will never be able to drive a truck again as that was my living. It was hard to hear and I wanted to give up. I tell you now as I look back I have been through some tough times and, like Terry, I am finding it harder to sell hope.
What are you going through that you cannot have hope about? Like we said earlier this week, hope is not something I can give you. Now, I can present it to you; I can explain it to you, but you have to take it and make it yours. You have to find it for yourself and once you have it, you can tell others about it.
I want to close with a real message of hope today. I remember the email messages I used to get from Brian Tracy each day. The inspirational quote that I got the day Gwynne and I started dating said this: “Some people will never know just how close they were to succeeding when they gave up.” It was from Thomas Edison.
Hope is yours folks, no matter your health, or what you have been through. Here in Dallas the Scruggs Family is showing their true faith. Their daughter was involved over the weekend in a accident where she ran into a plane propeller, losing her hand and perhaps vision in one of her eyes. They have hope that she is going to be ok. Yes they hurt, but I know this family and some of the struggles they have been through. They have a strong hope and have worked to share it. You should grab that kind of hope.
Ps: If you would like to hear more about the Scruggs story follow this link to the Caring bridge page and donate if you can. Scruggs Family.