“HOPE is the best stimulant.” This phrase, taken from a fortune cookie, was the writing prompt for my son’s creative writing class. Since I am having trouble coming up with ideas to blog about, I decided to begin there.
First, in order to pursue this idea, I want to describe stimulant. I think a good synonym would be motivator. Hope is what motivates us to engage in living. I include engage because I know there are times when I have been alive but not engaged in living. Some days it is unbelievably difficult to show up for life, but today is not one of those days so I am contemplating hope.
What is hope? In a general sense, hope is an expectation of something better, that something broken can be fixed or that something empty will be filled and that loss is not the end but believing redemption follows.
The longer the delay, the harder it is to hope. When my husband’s military duties permitted him to return at the end of the week, I could anticipate his return. However, when he was deployed for a year, it was much harder to hope for that day. It is easier to hope for something certain than something that might happen. Nothing is guaranteed unless you know Jesus, but if you have trusted him there is always hope. In Him we have a sure hope
That He is with us always even to the end of the age
That God causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose.
That He is able to keep each one of us from stumbling and make us stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.
This hope motivates us to persevere even when our earthly hopes shatter. While earthly hopes may disappoint, the hope of the glory of heaven can only exceed our wildest imaginings.
I enjoy discovering tangible visible pictures which are able to point us to spiritual truth, so sometimes I worry I fill my blog with these too familiar analogies that have been heard over and over. The image to which I am referring, I first encountered in a book by Corrie ten Boom. She was sewing an intricate needlepoint design. When she worked, if she looked at the back, it was a bunch of knots and tangles that made no sense. When she turned it over, varied colored threads and stitching were interwoven to create a beautiful picture.
In this present life, we may only see the tangles and knots, but God knows how everything will appear once the tapestry of our life is turned over. The black grief and trials that crisscross and obscure our understanding of the here and now are merely the background of our eternal future where the gold thread of grace and the red thread of redemption triumph.
My life is but a weaving Between my God and me. I cannot choose the colors He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow; And I in foolish pride Forget He sees the upper And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent And the shuttles cease to fly Will God unroll the canvas And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful In the weaver’s skillful hand As the threads of gold and silver In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares; Nothing this truth can dim. He gives the very best to those Who leave the choice to Him. – Author Unknown
Many of us are muddling through these days feeling helpless, hopeless or as if life is out of control. As we view our current circumstances, do we believe “God is nowhere” or are we able to perceive “God is now here”? What we feel depends on perspective. When I think God is distant, I lose hope. When I forget God is sovereign, things seem out of control.
Where is your hope? If I could sit with you, I would want you remind you that God is now here in this very moment. Sometimes our vision becomes cloudy, as if we have spiritual cataracts, and we require surgery from our Great Physician. Unfortunately, this process of gaining spiritual sight is not as quick and uncomplicated as having a cataract removed from our physical eyes. The process may take an entire lifetime… until we see Jesus fact to face. If 20/20 spiritual vision is seeing people and circumstances with God’s perspective, we have a long way to go; however, as our vision becomes unclouded, our hope grows.
It may be hard to hold onto hope, but you can always hold on to Jesus. Even better, He is holding fast to you and nothing can snatch you from His hand.
May the God of HOPE fill you with all HOPE as you trust in Him Romans 15:13