The Hope That Never Disappoints

The Hope That Never Disappoints

Have you ever sat there and won­dered what on earth God is doing?

I mean, some things just don’t make sense.

Like long-necked giraffes and mos­qui­toes. At least the giraffes are cute, right?

Some days I just can’t make heads or tails of things.

Last week we got word from our friends from back when we were first hav­ing babies and liv­ing in Oki­nawa. Their 18 year old son died in a hor­ri­ble roll over acci­dent last week­end. His mom and brother were in the car with him, and they are fine. This young man was a fresh­man in col­lege, with great hopes for his future. And now he’s gone so sud­denly. We grieve with them, and just can’t seem to fig­ure out why. Other than the fact that we know that God is sov­er­eign and that He pre­or­dained the num­ber of his days before there was one of them, like He has done with all the rest of us, too.

And then, my mother called this week­end. To tell me that she has breast can­cer. They are going to be aggres­sive with her treat­ment. The words all ran together for me as she was shar­ing her med­ical terms and sit­u­a­tion. It was hard to digest every­thing that she was say­ing. But I did hear that it has spread to her lymph nodes. They are doing more tests, more scans, and plan to start chemo soon.

I know can­cer strikes so many peo­ple. It is an evil, wicked, curse from the fall. But, we have been mostly unscathed by can­cer in our fam­ily his­tory. And this seems to be a diag­no­sis that has come out of nowhere. We never saw this com­ing. But I sup­pose that nobody ever really sees it coming.

So we sit. And pray. And wait. And hope.

What else can we do? It’s at times like this that we real­ize how puny we are. How unable we are to ordain our days. How pow­er­less we are in the grand scheme of things. Life and death are not in our hands. Thank­fully, they are held care­fully by the One who cre­ated life.

I’m thank­ful that the Lord has opened our eyes and hearts to His truths and His love. We are able to cling to Him because we have the assur­ance that He hears us and loves us. It’s not an empty grasp­ing for some­thing, any­thing. I pic­ture Faith, in her sweet con­fi­dence run­ning to her daddy with open arms and a pucker on her lips for his cheek. That con­fi­dence she has that he loves her and will receive her with joy and com­plete accep­tance. That’s how we need to be with God. Hon­or­ing, yes. Respect­ful, yes. And com­pletely con­fi­dent of His ten­der care and love for us. He’s not some fig­ment of our imag­i­na­tion. He isn’t some great imper­sonal “intel­li­gent designer.” He is a liv­ing, per­sonal God.

Who is sov­er­eign over what­so­ever comes to pass.

We may never under­stand why God is allow­ing things to hap­pen as they are. We do know that tri­als pro­duce per­se­ver­ance; and per­se­ver­ance, char­ac­ter; and char­ac­ter, hope.

Now hope does not dis­ap­point, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3–5

And that’s just the thing. The love of God. Poured out in our hearts.

That grief, that sor­row of the tri­als and death and can­cer. It pro­duces hope, which doesn’t disappoint.

Sure, it’s a process. We won’t nec­es­sar­ily be there at the begin­ning of a trial. But, we can choose to cling to the promise, can’t we? We can choose to trust that the One who formed us so care­fully in our moth­ers’ wombs will be true to His Word, as He always has been. We can hold on with those white knuck­les, refus­ing to let go, let­ting the fear slip from our hands in favor of the hope that is ours. Remem­ber­ing that tears are not a sign of dis­be­lief, but rather, are an out­let that the Lord designed for our good. They are cleans­ing, refresh­ing, safe. We can cry and hope in the same breath.

I love my dear, beau­ti­ful mother. I’m not ready for her to go just yet. I don’t know that I will ever be ready. I know my friend wasn’t ready for her son to go. The thing is, we don’t know the num­ber of our days. We don’t know that we have tomor­row. Death sneaks up on most of us. That hor­ri­ble, wicked thief.

Remem­ber to love your chil­dren, love your hus­band, love your mother and father. Love those whom God has put in your life. Today. I think we all need these reminders because we take too much for granted.

But, much more impor­tantly, love God. Rest in Him. Stop striv­ing against Him if you are. He is faith­ful and true. And oh, so forgiving.

We may never quite under­stand why God allows can­cer, gave giraffes long necks, or made mos­qui­toes. But, I trust He has a pur­pose in it all. I pray that this trial will pro­duce such a beau­ti­ful hope in our fam­ily. For my mom, my dad, my broth­ers, and my chil­dren. I pray that we won’t waste this one. If you think of it, please pray for us. That we will per­se­vere in love. That I will know how to min­is­ter to my mom. She lives so far away. And that her hope will never waiver.

I’ve linked up here: Joy­ous Notions, Cor­ner­stone Con­fes­sions, Sim­ply Help­ing Him. Be sure to visit these sites for more blog posts that might inter­est you!

Ups and downs

Ups and downs

It’s been one of those weeks. We have cel­e­brated a birth­day, an anniver­sary, the birth of a friend’s baby, preg­nancy announcements.

And we have  been sad­dened by the news of two mis­car­riages and the pass­ing of a dear man in our church.

Rejoic­ing and griev­ing intermingled.

It’s so hard for this finite woman to com­pre­hend an infi­nite God who is the author of life. And the num­berer of days.

Yet, with­out my lim­ited knowl­edge of Who He is, I would be a com­plete mess, wal­low­ing in sor­row with­out hope. How do peo­ple do that?

Why do peo­ple pre­fer to have a facade of auton­omy rather than grip the hand of God, cling­ing to His Gift?

And it’s just a facade, you know. For each breath we take, believer and unbe­liever alike, comes from the very gen­er­ous hand of God. And that last heart­beat that beats in our chest was timed to the nanosec­ond by this same Cre­ator of life. Ordained before the foun­da­tions of the earth. It is mind-boggling.

Today, we will mourn with our friends at the ser­vice of their hus­band and father. We will remem­ber that our days are a vapor. And a gift.

I pray that we will not waste this oppor­tu­nity to see our mor­tal­ity and thank God for His gift of life. And Life that is in Jesus Christ alone.

And we will cel­e­brate the babies. And birth­days, anniver­saries, and other land­marks of time that we pass with lit­tle thought of the swift­ness of the years.

Scrip­ture tells us that it is bet­ter to be in a house of mourn­ing than in a house of feast­ing. That seems so con­trary to the way we want to spend our days. The feast­ing is enjoy­able and we can see God’s rich mercy to us when we look for it.

But the house of mourn­ing brings real­ity to our door. We can’t move past it with­out con­sid­er­ing that we are mor­tal, and have a lim­ited num­ber of days before us. It can bring fear to the man who refuses to sub­mit to the God of the uni­verse. But it renews the hope of the future for the Chris­t­ian. And we praise God for His rich mercy that He gives us today. May we walk in peace in sor­row and in joy. May we see His hand guid­ing and pro­tect­ing us, bring­ing us safely Home in our appointed hour.

Rest in Jesus. For there is no rest elsewhere.

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