Jason and I were recently walking in the woods and talking about how thankful we are that we don't know all the things in advance that will happen in our lives. Everyone will go through some storms, right? But isn't it great that we don't know exactly what trials are ahead or when they'll happen?
I thank God for this "not" knowing. I mean, if I knew the exact hurts and struggles I'd have to endure, I'd do everything in my power to avoid those experiences—and shortchange myself in the long run. Let's take boating for example. If I'd known that horrendous storm was going to whip up, I wouldn't have gone on the skiff that day, maybe ever. I mean, a storm could come up at any time in open waters. We could spend our whole life worrying about what storm might hit next. And I would have feared my way through never enjoying the ocean again.
If we could see ahead to the pain of loss, physical ailments, broken dreams, financial struggles, whatever, that we might face, it would be overwhelming. We could get lost in worry and fear. Instead, one thing keeps us floating and anticipating the future:
Hope is a such a blessing in our lives. It's like a buoyant lifesaving ring carrying us through the difficulties.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1
Hope isn't just a wish that everything will turn out okay. "I hope it's going to be sunny tomorrow." Instead, it goes beyond that and morphs into a certainty that good is around the corner. Hope is a knowing in our hearts. "I know God is doing a beautiful thing in my life." That even though storms may come, God is working things out for my good. "God will see me through."
Hope is anticipating color in the midst of monochrome. Light in the darkness. Warmth in the cold. Spring after winter.
Job, while going through the biggest storms imaginable, said, "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him." Wow! That's a huge kind of hope. It shows hope isn't based on anything happening around us. It's a rock-solid assurance for goodness and peace--and trusting God is in control of everything.
On the other side of the spectrum, when we lose hope, we really do feel sick. "Hope deferred makes the heart sick." (Proverbs 13:1) Sometimes we have to remind ourselves to be revived with hope. I found this good one in Psalm 42: "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him."
I have so much richness in my life. Things I'm eternally thankful for. And one of those is hope. I look forward to miracles and abundance and promises for my family and friends and me. I want to speak the name of Jesus over storms that come my way. To trust completely in His love.
I'm reminded of another storm where Jesus was sleeping in a boat. The disciples would have made it fine to the other side, but they didn't know that. In the midst of wind and waves and fear, they temporarily lost hope.
Jesus being in my boat is hope . . . and peace.
Thank You, Lord, for hope.