This is the first flower of the season at our house coming up through debris and dead leaves. Next to it, I have laid the little glass reminder that now hangs in my kitchen window. It simply says HOPE.
Sometime last year, I woke up in the morning and realized I wasn’t looking forward to anything. Not anything. What a bleak place to find myself. I tried and tried and tried and there was nothing. Just a void. Throughout the months that followed:
I chose each day to read the Word as I have for so many years.
I chose each day to add to my gratitude list.
I chose to work on memorizing Romans 8.
I chose to not be OK with the void of hopelessness where I was and to flat-out tell God I hated it there.
And one day, I smiled.
I feels really strange to smile when your face is so out of practice.
We celebrated the beginning of 2014 by watching our youngest son be baptized just after midnight on January 1st. Is there a better way to start a year? However, within weeks, that gorgeous beginning was threatened by a hurricane of sorrows and discouragement. And that void of hopelessness started to open before my feet once again.
So, I chose the same things again.
Honesty with God
And a few weeks ago, I smiled.
I’m not sure where we’re headed, but I choose hope. Not hope I a better house or a happily-ever-after job or a richly padded savings account or waistline that defies this middle-aged thing, but hope like Abraham did in Hebrews 11.
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when god called him leave home and go to another land that god would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith – for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
Abe’s deepest level of confidence wasn’t in more stuff, a better life, more status, more land. (That’s a good thing because he lived in a tent for the rest of his life.) He looked through all that to the eternal city. Real hope.
I realized as God (with the help of a friend who kept texting me stuff about Abe) dumped Abe’s story all oer recently (seriously, everywhere I went in the Bible and in my text messages, Abe came up again) that I may be a little trembly on the inside with all this change and uncertainty, but I have no doubt whatsoever that whatever is waiting for me in the eternal city will fulfill hope beyond my wildest and longings. Actually, my hope is in the WHOever who is taking care of the whatever. Doesn’t it just take you breath away to think of the first time Jesus will look into your eyes and talk to you face to face?