Hope’s Bright Light

A glimmer of hope in her heart

Beth Thomas
Hope’s Bright Light
Photo by Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

Sarah was a sweet girl, always ready with a smile and a cheerful greeting. But one day a dark cloud seemed to settle over her heart, and she couldn’t explain why. She felt sad and worried all the time, and her friends and family noticed that something was wrong.

One sunny morning, as Sarah sat alone under the shade of a big oak tree, her grandmother, Granny Ruth, approached her with a gentle smile. Granny Ruth had a way of understanding things that no one else did.

“Sarah,” Granny Ruth said, “I can see that you’re carrying a heavy burden in your heart. Would you like to talk about it?”

Tears welled up in Sarah’s eyes, and she nodded. “I don’t know, Granny. I just feel so sad and scared all the time. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

Granny Ruth put her arm around Sarah and led her to a cozy spot under the oak tree. She took a small Bible from the pocket of her skirt and opened it to a verse she knew would bring comfort to her granddaughter. She read aloud from Philippians 4:6, 7: “ ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ [NIV].”

Sarah listened carefully to the words and wiped away her tears. “But how do I do that, Granny? How do I stop being anxious?”

Granny Ruth smiled warmly and replied, “It’s a journey, my dear. Just like any other journey, it starts with a single step. First, we pray together and give all your worries to God. He cares for you deeply, and He wants to help.”

So Sarah and Granny Ruth knelt under the oak tree and prayed together, pouring out all Sarah’s fears and worries to God. She felt a glimmer of hope, like a small light shining in the darkness of her heart.

As they got up from their knees, Granny Ruth took her hand, and they began to walk up the path toward home. They were quiet for a moment before Granny spoke again. “You know, Sarah, you are not alone. There are many other people in the world who have had the same type of feelings you have! Even strong heroes in the Bible like David faced times of sadness and fear. In the book of Psalms David talked about his struggles. In one verse he wrote, ‘The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles’ [Ps. 34:17, NLT].* Just remember, sweetie, you are never alone in your struggles. God is always with you, ready to listen and help.”

Sarah listened intently, her eyes filled with hope. Granny Ruth told her about another person from the Bible, a young boy named Joseph. “Sarah, Joseph had many difficult times in his life too. His mother died when he was very young; his brothers were so jealous of him that they sold him as a slave; and he was accused of something terrible he didn’t do and thrown into prison for it! But in Genesis 50:20 he said, ‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good’ [NIV]. Somehow Joseph could see that even when things seem tough, God can turn them into something beautiful.”

As Sarah thought about these stories, she felt a glimmer of hope in her heart. Maybe, just maybe, God had a plan for her sadness too.

Over the weeks and months that followed, Sarah continued to pray and seek help from her parents and a caring doctor. She learned to share her feelings with her friends, too, and they offered her their love and support.

One day, as Sarah stood under the same oak tree, she realized that the heavy cloud that had settled over her heart was gone. She remembered another verse Granny Ruth had shared, from Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (NIV).

Sarah knew that God had been with her all along, guiding her through the darkness of anxiety and sadness and leading her toward the bright light of hope and healing. She shared her story with others, reminding them that even in their darkest moments they were never alone. With faith, prayer, and the support of loved ones, they too could find peace and healing.


  1.  Have you ever felt sad or worried, as Sarah had?
  2.  What did Sarah’s grandmother tell her about God’s presence and help in difficult times? How can you remember this when you’re feeling down?
  3.  Can you think of a time something that seemed bad turned out to be good, just like Joseph’s story?
  4.  What are some ways you can talk to God and ask for help when you’re feeling sad or anxious?
  5.  How can talking to trusted family members or friends, just as Sarah did, help you feel better when you’re going through a tough time?
  6.  Remember that God loves you and is always there to listen and help, just as in Psalm 34:17. How does knowing this make you feel?

* Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers,

Beth Thomas