I've been a wee-bit-stuck in this study I've been digging into on HOPE.
Count it up to weeks with no routine..................maybe......................but that would just be an excuse.
Call it a lack of consistency in my life....................again, maybe.............but, again, an excuse.
Look at my schedule, and "busy" would define it................BUT, yes, an EXCUSE!
Reality is that it feels like my brain was put "on hold" with heaven's phone-system...and I've just been listening to elevator music. It's enough to put one to sleep, but not enough to inspire my next thought.
So, when that happens, I go back to the basics.
When "stuck" occurs in your life, persevering in the simplest of actions does make a difference. I've found this to be truthed-out. This is just an FYI.
I ran back through my previous blogs (where I've been is often my go-to-start).
HOPE's workable definition:
Hope is waiting with confident expectation.
There is a quiet assurance in every hope package.
Where HOPE comes from:
Hope is a gift of grace from our Lord, our ONLY reliable source for hope.
ANYTHING or ANYONE besides the Lord = a vain hope...or as the writer of Ecclesiastes puts it, a chasing after the wind.
Why we need HOPE:
We need hope, because life is filled with difficulty and hardship.
Hope is the one ingredient that separates the victim from the victor.
How can I find hope in the midst of life's trials (I think I've shared two ways to begin)?
1. Gratitude. Doing a thanksgiving-check on the smallest details of your life is where most research leads (secular or evangelical). Hands down, it is at the top of the charts for hope-building.
(this has always been a favorite quote)
2. Gazing long at the regular cadence of life's rhythms. Those activities from heaven's hand that occur on a consistent basis, assure us that there is ONE in charge, who is working all things out. From the rising and setting of the sun, to the birth of a new babe, and the certainty of death, even of godly men (thinking Billy Graham here), we can clearly see that life is filled with changing seasons.
Can you hear the shofar being blown loudly in my brain?
It just happened.
Because, at this point, I'm noticing I missed a HUGE place for finding HOPE. It's the place I should have begun weeks ago, and maybe I assumed it was insinuated (I should never assume). I'll introduce it with a little story.
Years ago, I read a book that was a huge encouragement as I walked through a hard trial. The introduction gave the author credibility, and her words had greater meaning. Her testimony began with the birth and death of two children after about six months of life. Yet, these young parents knew from the moment of birth, that life would be a waiting to die. The question this new mom asked is one we all ask during our struggles: "How?" "How do I get through this?" "Where do I find HOPE?"
The answer she received was a one word answer from one who had walked down their own hard road:
Sufficient for the day, we all need manna to sustain. As the Israelite's desperation grew in the wilderness wanderings, God provided manna from heaven. We need it still today.
New each morning.
One. Day. At. A. Time.
Man does not live by bread alone.
Therefore, hope can not be sustained, but by every spoken Word of the Lord.
PS. If you read last week's blog and wonder how puppy did on the flight, he did GREAT. If you prayed, thank you!!! We were delayed just over an hour in Chicago, but little fur-ball settled right down on both legs of our flights and slept the whole way. What a sweetie!