September 2, 2019
“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:25
Hoping and patience. Patience. Hoping. I have zero problems with hoping.
- I hope you’re having a good day.
- I hope all is well with you.
- I hope she finds a soul mate.
- I hope he makes his flight.
- I hope the surgery goes well.
- I hope…
What fuels hope? Are these words we just speak into the atmosphere and then they’re gone, like a vapor? How do we give our hopes some feet, some grounding, some something that makes them move from casual words to actual actions? What makes us believe in our hopes (those things that are unseen)? It’s our faith in the One who has the power to bridge the gap between what our heart feels and what actually is.
Faith is a funny thing. It works on its own timing. It requires patience. Think about the lives from so many in biblical times. Hebrews 11 is a roll call of faith-tested people. Abraham. Sarah. Enoch. Noah. But don’t stop there. Think about your own faith testimony. How long have you hoped for something? Did you wait patiently? Or did you give up before your faith had time to germinate your hope? Did you give up before God was ready to bring it to pass?
Being somewhat impatient, I am guilty of deciding that I needed to take matters into my own hands and make something happen. I have felt that clearly God wasn’t going to do it or it simply wasn’t a priority. Maybe this wasn’t you, but I’ve certainly been there. After futile attempts, I’ve come to realize how much better I would have been to go back to the beginning and nurture my hope instead of trying to make it materialize.
When our hopes have grown stale, we have to start back at the point where God planted the hope and work from there. I’m talking about going deeper into the promises that God spoke originally. Write them down. Memorize them to our hearts.
- I am the head and not the tail.
- I am wonderfully and fearfully made.
- I am a co-heir with Christ.
- He knows my name.
My husband is a vegetable gardener. He’ll pick a date in late summer that he’s going to start planting his fall garden. He’ll take a piece of paper, sketch out his rows, research fall plants and seeds, marks each type he’s going to plant in each row, purchases the seeds or starter plants, plants them, waters them, prays over his garden and then he leaves it alone to grow. After a few weeks, he’ll take a hoe and a tiller. He uses the hoe to chop any grass that might have started growing in his garden. We all know that weeds will pop up anywhere and everywhere! He’ll use the tiller to then turn over the soil to give the plants breathing room and access to any nutrients he may have mixed in. Then his plants begin to take root and grow.
Our hopes that we do not yet have work the same way. We take prep steps when God has given us something to hope for, whether it’s to start a business, find a new job, learn a new skill, or pursue a relationship. Maybe we haven’t seen anything happening yet. Could it be that maybe some hoeing and tilling is necessary? Are there some weeds that may be choking your hope? Maybe we need to get our hoe and start chopping out doubts, bad attitudes, excuses, or negativity. Maybe we need to get our tiller and stir up some things, like re-reading God’s promises, listening to worship music, fasting, and praying.
Take heart that God has neither forgotten nor forsaken you. Luke 12:6-7 reminds us that not one sparrow is forgotten by God and that He treasures us even more than the sparrows. Be patient. God’s got you.