You may be wondering why I picked the title “Hope on Sinking Sand”. As I sit across from counselees, I notice the depth of emotional pain and suffering on their countenance. Most of the men who come to Bethel Colony are desperately clinging to whatever they have left. They are in the quicksand of their memories. What at one time may have been good memories are now devastating memories. They are hoping to regain that which they once had. This is a good thing as this glimmer of hope keeps their heads above the sucking quicksand that is pulling them, body and soul, downward. “I am feeble and severely broken, I groan because of the turmoil of my heart.” Psalm 38:8
It is this turmoil of heart that causes the fragility of one’s soul. It stems from broken families, broken relationships, broken careers, broken trusts, etc. This turmoil of heart ends in a broken heart – not only for one’s own heart but for those whom he has loved. Hearts are broken from all the confusion, instability and hurt that they have suffered.
My experience is that most of those whose hope is on sinking sand have no ability to get out of the sand. They are like the insecure, timid, young lady, Laura Wingfield, in The Glass Menagerie. Miss Wingfield has a collection of glass figurines which she stores on a shelf. They are delicately spun glass and any sudden bump of one of those figurines can send it to the floor breaking and shattering. Two things come to mind with the fallen figurine; how beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken! As I look into the eyes of some of my counselees I see they are shattered by the reality of what they have done in their waywardness. They finally realize that what they had was beautiful and how easily it was shattered and broken.
They may be taught in well-meaning psychological or psychiatric methods, but they have no clue about biblical answers for their dilemma. They do not know the Bible or they have walked away from it and its promises. They have left the study of God’s Word, the fellowship of God’s people and the God of the Bible. They have wandered into the Doubting Castle of Giant Despair and Lady Diffidence for they have little hope and have left the way of God. “They have gone far from Me, have followed after idols, and have become idolators. Neither did they say, ‘Where is the Lord’” Jer. 2:5-6
Many memories engulf their lives; guilt and shame abound. They’re clinging to earthly, temporal things that will not hold them. Their hope is misplaced. People, places and things are the quicksand that they are clinging to. These things are not bad, except when they become the idols of their heart. Upon the loss of these idols terror, fear and despair come like a flood. Their hope is on sinking sand and it will engulf them in an abyss of darkness.
This may be the place of blessing in the end. Francis Frangipane writes; “The wilderness is not a curse, it is a blessing. It is the place where the world’s grip on our hearts and minds is loosened and we are captivated by the Lord and the eternal purposes. It is where the carnal nature’s dominance is broken and the Lord begins to rule our lives.” This coming season of Thanksgiving and Christmas does not need to be a season of hopelessness on sinking sand. It is a good time to let God rule your lives by surrendering to Him. Seek the Lord with all your heart in the storms of life. Have the heart of David; “As the deer pants for the water brook, so my soul pants for you, O’ God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I appear before God?” Psalm 42:1-2 Place your hope in God and He will hold you up.
Question your hopelessness: “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 42:11
May I suggest you get in love with God’s Word, God’s people, God’s church and God Himself? Seek Godly counsel from a godly man or woman. They can point you to Him who alone can save our souls. In the coming holiday season, you can be a blessing for God is your hope!
Try singing this hymn to dispel any hopelessness; “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly trust in Jesus’ Name…all other ground is sinking sand.” The Lord bless you.