Beyond all reason

The view from my parents’ room at the Banff Springs Hotel, 1999

“God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder, the source of which is beyond all reason.”  – Dag Hammarskjold


  1. Peggy Karlosky


    I have lifted you and your family up in prayer. I think about how we met at the writer’s conference and how you had no idea about what you were to face with your husband after returning home. We sure don’t know what all is ahead, but we do know He is faithful. I so appreciate your posts.


    • Hi Peggy,

      Thanks so much for your prayers. We got more bad news today and the news just seems to keep getting worse. We are surviving on prayers now so keep them coming. I am so grateful for your friendship.


  2. M Bertoglio

    Enjoyed this. Thinking of starting my own blog about stuff. How do you go about it. WordPress? I have posted some stuff on Red Ravine there. Mb


    • Hi, I wish I had more knowledge to help you, but I’m quite new at this myself – and still learning! I can point you to a wonderful blog and superb teacher who has been a great help to me. You can access Edie Melson’s considerable expertise at – Edie is a great resource, and very understanding of those of us who are just beginning. Good luck.

  3. Mike Carter

    You can’t defeat despair, but like the quote from John’s gospel you can overcome it. Despair is part of the price of living just as grief is the price we pay for love. In this world there is no clear cut joy or sadness, but they touch each other as two ends of a circle.” to paraphrase Rollheiser. If we honor our despair and give voice to it as the Psalmists did we can move.
    It’s all good. Easier said than done.

    • I suppose it’s a semantical argument, but speaking for myself, when I am in utter despair I find it hard to go on doing the things I must do every day. Having an adult son with disabilities for whom I am the primary caretaker, I have no practical time nor ability to “honor” despair except in the sense that I recognize it as universal, a weapon of darkness, and yet also a teacher of things learned in no other way. I will not allow despair to overcome the light of God. I take great comfort in the words of St. Paul: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
      2 Corinthians 4:8-9

  4. Good Evening, Dear Julia, Thank You for “sharing” in the Upper Room your link to Beyond Despair. I have found encouragement and a “cyber” family in Christ through this form of sharing. Since I do not have a permanent home, i no longer have a “readily” available church family to bible study or fellowship with during the week; therefore, the sites shared have become my “church family”.
    John 16:33 definitely encourages me to take heart and the reminder daily “Greater is He in me than he who is in the world.” The father of lies daily desires us to despair. He will us any weapon and disguise to draw us away from God’s Word and Will. I look forward to praying with you and all who come here to share.
    Approximately four months ago I was searching God’s Word for God’s armor against despair and I came upon Habakkuk 2:3 (LB translation)
    “These things I plan won’t happen right away.
    Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches
    when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow,
    do not despair, for these things will surely come
    to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue
    a single day!” says the LORD.
    I am blessed daily to “Count it All Joy” in the assurance that in all things, Abba, my Beloved Papa, has gone before me, He loves me, and He knows the last day of my journey. Why wouldn’t I trust Him with every second of the journey? Today, I had a greater need for His armor; as I am in the “waiting room”. He blessed me with a “resale store” and I was able to purchase Warren W. Wiersbe book “Be Strong” a study of OT Joshua. Again thank you that I am here sharing, yours & others encouragement in Him. A testiment that He will bless me( as my journey is a “homeless” one); that He will provide brothers and sisters in Him along the way.
    May the LORD Bless thee indeed, increase your territory and keep you from all evil and give you a “Canaan Rest” as you serve Him.
    Agape Love, sister in Christ Jesus,
    ps just started sharing in UR, blogs and twitter (can’t believe it, even, twits-such “funny” words for my generation) in March. and i have dyslexia; so sharing in writing is out of my comfort zone. Didn’t know why but He did; so i obeyed.

    • Hi Kate, thanks so much for your words — they have been a comfort to me this morning. Like you, I have found great solace among friends whom I meet online. I hope to hear from you again here and at Upper Room, where I occasionally have devotionals published in both print and online editions – my next one is due for the Mar-Apr edition, I believe. Thanks again for sharing your faith and reminding me that God works for good in all things. Blessings to you!

  5. Thank you for your beautiful words. I know the feeling of not being able to go about my business because of despair. It is the enemy!!!

    • Hi Carla, thanks for your kind words and for joining us here. Together, we shall overcome!

  6. Kathy

    I was in Banff this past July. What a beautiful place! For me, it’s a reminder that God’s intricate beauty in our world and His work in us in the good times and during the dark ones is beyond our understanding. And that I don’t need to understand it all but just persevere with faith that He surrounds me and lives in me.

    • Yes, the beauty of Banff and the surrounding areas is almost other-worldly, isn’t it? We celebrated my parents’ 50th anniversary there. They are now heading toward their 64th, and I’m so grateful we still have their support to comfort us.

  7. Eric Hedden

    Been there, done that, but an Elk ate my T-shirt . . .eh?

    • Actually, I think you were standing there when I took this photo. Watch for the photo taken at Lake (“go have your own vacation!”) Louise, coming up sooner or later.


  1. Remembering: Beyond all reason | Defeat Despair

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