I'm trying to cling to the last strings of summer, even though fall is my ABSOLUTE favorite time of year.
The "lazy days" of summer flew by for me (where did this phrase come from, anyway? - I don't remember experiencing any slow, lazy, summer days over the course of my life).
Lots of travel, wonderful visits from friends, near and afar, office work and writing new messages for five upcoming women's retreats hastened the passing of time.
However, there's no denying fall is beginning to dress herself in stunning colors, and douse herself in her early morning perfume (and, I'm breathing deeply of her scent).
I've had a hankering for zucchini bread, cinnamon apples, and pumpkin....anything.
Seasons are like that...they come and they go...and they always bring newness...and HOPE:
This summer I finally mustered up some CoUrAgE, rented a paddle board, and determined to learn how to SUP (this is another story in itself, for another blog, another time).
So, in squeezing as much out of what is left of our warmer temps, I've been trying to get out on our little nearby lake, as I can.
Sometimes I go alone.
Sometimes I join a friend.
So, just after posting last week's blog, I tagged along with one of my dear friends to the lake.
I'm still learning the finer skills of staying on top of the water; while she has it mastered.
I'm still sllllllllllllllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww; while she can skim along at a more rapid, consistent pace.
She moves out; I meander about.
However, we meet up in the middle, and have opportunity for prayer time together.
Seriously, there is nothing better for the soul than "walking on water," while beholding God's ever-changing creation, then praising Him, and petitioning His favor.
My friend doesn't just succeed at the paddle board, she does life well.
I've watched over the years as a sequence of unfortunate events have resulted in one hardship following another.
Yet, I've also observed her simple joy, heart of gratitude, and abundant hope.
I'm actually jealous FOR IT...
So, on our knees, in the middle of Echo Lake, I asked...what have I missed on hope as I've written my blog? If someone were to ask you about your HOPE, what would you tell them?
And, she had an answer (I knew she would).
It falls in line with the idea of filling up on the Promises of God, but takes those Promises one step further into the realm of FAITH. After all:
I've known the value of declaring the faithfulness of God's good promises...
But, my friend's response, while simple, stunned me.
Her advice for living in hope, when the hard is all-consuming is this:
Live as if it is so, until it is, even if it isn't.
So, I have pondered this statement all week.
I've walked with it.
I've filtered Scriptures through it.
I've nestled my heart into it's TRUTH.
It's a Biblical statement.
I don't see it in print anywhere in the Bible as is; but, it is there...albeit, between the lines, and plumbed down in the cave of Hebrew and Greek words (I know (right?), there it is again...words).
I saw it first in Habakkuk.
As with Esther, God was standing in the shadows, and allowing an evil King to muck up the lives of God's people.
Where was God amidst destruction and violence? Habakkuk really wanted to know...
At least with Habakkuk, God was talking...and, He told Habakkuk to write down His divine communication (vision/oracle), and to run with it (2:1-2). What did Habakkuk write?
The righteous shall live by faith.
This faith grows bigger over time, and the believer grows, and continues to live, from faith to faith to faith (see the verse up at the top).
The Apostle Paul tells us that is how his faith grew. He simply lived by faith.
Then, he tells us this, God counts that kind of living as RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Look again at that statement above (from my friend). That's what faith does. It looks at the Promises of God, and lives out life, walks the walk, makes decisions as if, what God says is so (because it is), even when it isn't yet so...until peripety (see last week) swings open the door and the Reversal of Destinies walks through... Then, what God has said is!
This is living by faith.
It is "reckoning" and "counting" that what God has said He will do is already done. So, I simply live like it is.
And, over the course of time, the current season of hard will begin to dress herself in spectacular array, and the scent of her coming will be a sign of the change to come.
After all, new seasons bring change...and hope!
So, live by faith.
Live as if it so, even if it isn't, until it is...