When there’s no hope, we learn an essential truth about living – it’s okay to not be okay. I was sharing with a young Zabian lady who is living with her elderly grandmother.  Her parents have passed, there is no work, and she is not sure where their next meal is coming from. There are many scriptures to share about not being afraid or being discouraged.  The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. God is a big God, but I don’t live in Zambia. We can’t bring a true comparison to their situation. One seems helpless and powerless even to minimally influence or attempt council in this situation, but God. My thoughts run unreasonably to the crazy world we live in. Profound hatred and mistruths bombard us daily. We see economic pressure, undisciplined leadership and power grabs and overwhelmingly challenges in our day to day lives.

There really isn’t an answer, not when each area of poverty is unique and all you can offer are words of hope and compassion. Giving a hug and sharing scripture and a prayer is all you can give. The medical team was there to provide what we could in medical assistance. It was a challenge to all us to see the poverty and need in Zambia. We cannot be scared away from a ministry to the poor. The programs established in this very small area of this very large country is striving for a difference with one person at a time. There is no simple solution to poverty.

Habakkuk, one of the minor prophets, tells us of a faith of perplexity and doubt to the height of absolute trust in God. I can see the perplexity in Zambia with the people whom we worked with. Habakkuk wanted to see God do something more, particularly in the area of justice for evildoers (sound familiar). Habakkuk had a dialogue with God. The prophet called out to God as he was distressed and very frustrated, much like Jonah. However, Habakkuk didn’t run like Jonah, he began to pray. We often think running will be the answer. God replied to Habakkuk in chapter 2, ultimately “the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God”. The book of Habakkuk reminds us, there is no place too dark or wall too thick for God’s mercy and grace to penetrate. Chapter 3 concludes…Even though, there is nothing, yet I will rejoice in the Lord - the Sovereign Lord is my strength!

“There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.” —Deuteronomy 15:11

Karen Thornton is a resident of the Westside of the Lake of the Ozarks sharing the very words of God as relative to everyday life.  Karen is the owner of Karen’s Secretarial Service. Opinions expressed in her columns do not necessarily reflect those of the Lake Sun. Contact Karen at ksecretary1@yahoo.com

This article originally appeared on Lake Sun Leader: When it seems like there is no hope