I love being around hopeful people. Some of the most optimistic and thankful people I've met live with health challenges, financial troubles, and family chaos. They don't rely on circumstances because they've anchored their circumstances in the faithfulness of an unchanging, reliable God.
I love what the Psalmist says in the middle of his challenging season. Admitting his inability to thrive on his own, he plants his hope firmly in the God who can sustain and cheer. I sing today with the lyricist who lived over 2000 years ago, though my house is warm and my studies are progressing, acknowledging that life's opportunities balance between happiness and hardship:
"I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
"Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails. Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down to the pit. Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD, for I hide myself in you.
"Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground." ( Psalm 143:5-10 NIV)