I’m going to start today being completely honest. I have struggled hard knowing what to write about this month. Inside, I’ve been my own complete mess, and I came to the realization that some of you might be feeling the same way. I pawed through to the bottom of what the real issue[s] were and one word became bold. H.O.P.E.
Because, really? Isn’t that the pinnacle between success and defeat? Aren’t we all holding some fragmented thread of hope?
Hoping to lose weight?
Hoping for an easier schedule?
Hoping to come through surgery ok?
Hoping for a new baby, a proposal, a new job?
Hoping to hire the right person, to clean out the basement, to make a little more money?
Hoping to not let them down, not lose your temper, not disappoint?
Anxiety weighs in and we toss in our sleep. All this hoping….makes one feel hope-less at times. Doesn’t it?
But if God is a God of love, then hope is real. Hopelessness is a form of worry, and when was the last time we abandoned worry because we felt deep confidence in what God was planning for us? See, I was reading King David’s Psalms again, and he wrote this,
“My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praise.” Psalm 57:7
Kind David is singing! My worry has not left me singing! Snarling…yes. Teeth clenching…for sure. Distracted…positively! So how can a song well up in a God-breathed soul when worry keeps beating on your chest?
Is that it then? Worry has taken over hope? We worry we won’t get the desired results and the loss of hope reigns a near blow to our value? Because we want to be valuable? We want to mean something to someone? We want to be noticed, admired, cherished, loved unconditionally?
God is love though. Isn’t He? And love encourages and fosters hope to grow. And wouldn’t a Father who formed you so beautifully, love you so deeply? So then, isn’t He the master of hope? Paul felt that He was. After all, he wrote in 1 Corinthians the love chapter. Chapter 13, which ended with three things. Faith, hope, and love. These three form a braided rope absolutely unbreakable by any worry the devils hissed in your ear.
I have to get you to look a little further back in that chapter, though. Because after worry has been pretty vigilant in forming her new home in my ever beating heart, God is working to alter the blueprint. Verse 7 threads it’s way into my soul amnesia, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” I’m letting out one big ol’ shaky breath.
God is love. He put himself in some unbelievably difficult circumstances, because His whole hope is based on the thought of you loving Him back. He’s hoping you’ll choose relationship with Him over stuff in stores and stuff in bottles and stuffy people. He’s hoping you’ll grab on to that one braided rope and know the strength of a tied up cord.
Oh, and did I tell you that other part? The part about the origin of words? Words like ‘hope’? Turns out, the Hebrew word for hope is tiqvah (tik-vaw’) and it literally means “a cord, as an attachment”. Zechariah 9:12 uses it poetically, “Turn you to the strong hold, you prisoners of hope…”. Friend, there have been a few times where circumstances have been very prison-like, but how could my hope possibly run out if I was imprisoned to, well…hope?
If any of you are mothers out there, do you remember that deep down maternal instinct kick in when that baby was forming inside you? Do you remember the constant worry of whether you were doing any of this whole ‘creating’ thing right? Do you also remember when you realized just HOW connected you were? There was that life line between you and baby called an umbilical cord. Tried and true cords that have been feeding and growing babies clear back from the beginning of baby-making time. That’s a pretty irreversible commitment.
What if hope, love, faith, looked like that? What if I told you, steeped in Christ, it does?
Attached. So.very.attached. Love.Faith.Hope. Always. Tried and true.
Turns out, hope isn’t all I’ve got. And it’s not really as fragmented as I thought, either.