We Are Not Without Hope

by | Sep 18, 2013 | Facing Fear

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

We are not without hope!

There’s a powerful scene in the movie version of The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings), where King Théoden finds himself in a desperate battle. One he cannot hope to win. His kingdom is under siege. His armies are hopelessly outnumbered. His people will not survive the night.

And it’s all his fault. Or at least, it feels that way. His kingdom began crumbling long ago, when he fell under the influence of an evil spirit. When he listened to the lies of the enemy and was deceived. When he made a series of poor choices that devastated everyone around him.

While he was held captive.

He’s free now. Seeing clearly, thinking clearly for the first time in a long time. But it’s too late. He can’t go back and undo what’s been done. He can’t rally his people, strengthen them, prepare them for battle in time. They cannot withstand the onslaught of the enemy.

Realizing he has utterly failed them and himself, Théoden is overcome by guilt and despair, shame and regret. He quotes the haunting words of a poem:

Where is the horse and the rider?
Where is the horn that was blowing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain,
Like wind in the meadow.
The days have gone down in the West,
Behind the hills into shadow.
How did it come to this?

 LOTR The Two Towers

That last line echoed in my own heart not long ago. I found myself in a very dark place, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. It felt like my life was in shambles. I had been listening to the enemy…. Everywhere I looked I could see only failure and defeat.

I was stood in church one morning during the worship service, tears running down my face. Overwhelmed by all my failures and mistakes, the poor choices I’d made. Looking at the future with hopelessness, filled with fear and dread.

That image of King Théoden was stuck in my head, as I whispered in despair:

“How did it come to this?”

I could barely keep from sobbing out loud.

But that Sunday morning–  as I stood there, absolutely shattered — it was like the Holy Spirit reached into my mind where that image from the movie had been frozen on the screen and hit “play.”

I remembered what happens next.

Théoden and his companions are about to ride out one final time, prepared to meet their deaths on the battlefield. Suddenly they realize it’s dawn. The long night is over. A rider on a white horse appears on the top of the hill, with a vast army behind him, come to the rescue. The rider charges down to meet the enemy, with a blinding light that decimates the darkness.

The Two Towers Helm's Deep

“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns… The armies of heaven were following Him… On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” (Revelation 19:11-16)

Jesus reminded me that morning that in my darkest moments, I am not without hope, not without help. (2 Cor 4:9 BBE)

He is with me.

And He’s bringing with Him victory.

That’s what He put on my heart to remind you today: No matter how dark it seems in your life or the life of someone you love, take courage. Press on. Have hope. Have faith.

And keep your eyes on the skies, for “the King of Glory cometh unto thee.”

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors;
and the King of Glory shall come in.
Who is the King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors;
and the King of Glory shall come in.
Who is the King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.

“Lift Up Your Heads” – from Handel’s Messiah, based on Psalm 24:7-10