“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” Martin Luther
Hope. It’s one of humanity’s most treasured words. Politicians emblazon hope on yard signs, bumper stickers, and T-shirts. But, not only politicians tap into hope‘s power. Great leaders of every kind do; military generals, company CEOs, athletic coaches, school teachers, and parents. Great leaders constantly work to create, grow and sustain hope.
Hope makes for an easy and effective slogan, but can it stand the test of a hard life? Hope polls well among the comfortable. They still have reason to hope. It’s easy to sell to the naive. They don’t have the experience or resources to evaluate if hope’s promise is deliverable. But if we are to instill hope among the experienced and the afflicted, we must tread more carefully.
Brent and Nicka Pohl have been afflicted with long term and intense suffering. The “Category 5” storms they have weathered leave other people’s hope completely shipwrecked. Totally exhausted most people would stop treading water and slip into the black abyss of despair. But these survivors continually spit out the suffocating waters of discouragement. Like ducks swimming against the rise and fall of the slapping waves, they embody both poise under pressure and tireless striving.
How do they navigate through life’s fiercest and abiding storms with their hope still afloat? How do they maintain peace and joy and not sink into the abyss of bitterness? What is their secret? These are questions I seek to answer in my upcoming book.
The Pohls are not famous, but they are heroic. Their story amazes me and needs to be told. They have a lot to teach us if only we have the ears to listen. Through their living testimony we can discover a wealth of navigational tools useful for charting a course through our own storms when they hit.