Thursday, February 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Today, I am thankful for...

The warm sun
My silky soft scarf my FIL got in Italy
A job, I might not enjoy, but it puts food in my babies bellies
Health insurance
A short commute
Two beautiful boys that make me feel needed and loved
An amazing husband that calls just to check on me when I'm not well
The opportunity to pray for friends that are hurting

And last but not least...


There have been many, many times in my life that I've been in so much pain or in such dire straights, that I've lost hope. It's an awful place to be. You're usually by yourself. Or at least it feels that way. Even when you're surrounded by people, you feel alone. It's dark, it's cold, it's eerily silent. Even God is silent during those times. (Sometimes with reason, but that's a whole 'nother post.)

But today, I am not there. On most days, Hope is my constant companion. I can't really attribute it to anything other than Christ. He is my Hope. He has given me Hope. So I guess with those two sentences, one can conclude that He's given me Himself. Which is a true statement.

The Hope I speak of, is not the kind of hope as in, "I hope I get a pony for my birthday!"

"I didn't know she had a pony. How was I to know she had a pony? Why would anybody come here if they had a pony? Who leaves a country packed with ponies to come to a non-pony country? It doesn't make sense..."

(Sorry...a little humor for you fellow Seinfeld fans.)

While I have hope like that in certain details of my life, an uncertain wish, if you will, the Hope that has become my companion is a deeper, more intense, solidified Hope.

Romans 5:1

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we [1] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith [2] into this grace in which we stand, and we [3] rejoice [4] in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

What's really interesting is the original Greek word for "hope" as it's used in Roman 5:4 is elpis, which means, "a confident expectation; to anticipate with pleasure". I kind of equate it to the hope a bride feels when she is engaged to be married. Is she hoping the wedding takes place? Is she hoping the groom really shows up? No. She knows. The reason the bride has this type of hope is because she has had a relationship with a man that has proven himself worthy of her trust, so she believes that he is going to show up and the wedding will take place and all will be wonderful.

If she's not sure of either of those things, then there are other issues at hand other than using the wrong term for hope.

So the hope described here is not the same hope that we usually use in the American English language we're familiar with.

So what is this Hope I speak of? I have a pleasurable, confident expectation that there is something better. There IS something better! Ultimately, my Hope is someday spending eternity with Christ and my loved ones in a much better world than the one I live in. But that Hope even bleeds down here to life on earth. I have Hope that God will provide for my needs. That He will not leave me, ignore me, play favorites of others over me. He wants the best for me and wants to give me my heart's desire. Could that be a pony? Perhaps. But not likely. What He does want to give me is a life filled with Goodness and Peace. Like any other parent, He will do whatever is possible to give me the tools to do what I'm meant to others. Whether that be by encouraging words, a kind act, a sharing of experience, a hug...or sharing Him. He will always, always, always give me the opportunities to do this AND to give me the tools to do it.

What a wonderful piece of knowledge to live out in my daily life! I have what I need, when I need it, always according to His time and will. How can I ever go wrong in that?


Stephanie said...

Thank you for this post!

Tiffanee said...

Very beautiful!! Thanks for sharing! It is a wonderful reminder for me today.

Karrie said...

Oh my friend, this is PRECISELY what I've prayed for you so many times over the years! What a blessing to me to see this post and a great reminder in my own life:-)

Love you!