when life feels like it is going to hell in a hand basket, it is easy to be discouraged and angry and despondent. it is easy to quit and forget the good of it. especially if you are one of those emotional types. granted i have emotions but i am a strong “T” on the myers briggs. it is much easier for me to rationalize myself out of emotional take over. but there is a four letter word that saves the day….
now if you don’t have a realllllly good working definition of this word, i bet your immediate thought was something along the lines of “tried that before, just left me disappointed. i’m done hoping.”
maybe it wasn’t but that has been my response before. what is the point of hoping when God doesn’t come through how i wanted Him to. what is the point when people just suck sometimes. what is the point in hoping when i know i will just be disappointed.
i would like to challenge that with the idea that we are in that moment hoping for something that was never meant to be hoped in. for example…when i felt like God told me last october that i wasn’t in fact still called to be at frontline, where i worked and went to church, i just knew He would provide for me. i hoped in that. all eggs were in that basket. but it wasn’t until i couldn’t find a job no matter how many i applied for and no matter how many i was overqualified for. i began to see i had hoped in Him providing for me through another job….not in living with an amazing couple and removing me from where it was so easy to distract myself.
you see i believe that there are things we are called to hope in. romans 5 says that hope doesn’t disappoint…therefore if i am disappointed, it probably wasn’t hope in the right thing. we get to hope in things that are sure. like God is provider. God is protector. God is savior. He is coming back, He is working all of it for our good and His glory, He is good.
it is in those things we hope. those are the places we get to live with expectancy. please hear me, i didn’t say expectations, but expectancy.
that may be one of the hardest distinctions of my life!
here is how i live it…expectancy is anticipation to see how God is going to be Himself in my life. expectation is me having a standard for how He should be Himself in my life. i don’t get to set that standard. gosh, i don’t want to set that standard. especially since He does exceedingly, abundant more than we can think or imagine…i want Him to come blow up whatever “good” idea i had with His “out of this world” idea.
maybe all that leaves you leery. worried that you will still be hurt. maybe because of past experience with hope you think that maybe God won’t come through. i invite you to give it a try again. maybe He doesn’t do what you want Him to do, but He will always show up and be Himself. He will always be to you who He promised to be. when it doesn’t look like it, ask Him to show you.
there have been many a seasons where i couldn’t see how He was good. it didn’t feel good. it didn’t look good. it didn’t sound good. and so i asked Him more out of desperation than actually expecting to hear something and He started showing me.
i serve a really amazing God. a God who blows my mind daily with His love and delight. a God who always is Himself, whether i like how He does it or not. invite Him into that place in your heart and see what He does!