A week ago, I was in a small church with small windows and small pews. But the message and the community and the heart of that church was so big that I was basking in the warmth. The message was about hope. Hope when looking into a future that the world says is “hopeless”. Hope when the world is posting billboards about fear.
I have always known that my hope should rest in God and that I should set my eyes on Him. But, like any stubborn woman, I could hardly grasp this until I was repeatedly bopped in the head with it. Very recently I was handed a situation that could make my future look pretty dim. This one situation and circumstance could alter so many things about my financial situation and my living situation. It could literally wipe away my independence.
But wait, I’m not an independent. I am completely and fully dependent on my Father.
I also received news about a friend that brought me to my knees in a puddle of tears. I couldn’t fathom what I was hearing even though things like that happen every day. I just kept asking, “How does this happen? Why does this happen? Why can’t we stop it?”
I watched for years as my older brother was trapped in a body that couldn’t walk or run, couldn’t sing or dance, and couldn’t experience life like most kids do. I was blessed enough to see him smile and hear his intoxicating giggle a great handful of times in my life but, he could never beat up the boys knocking at my door, or drive his pickup into the neighbor’s fence, or throw a winning pass in the Homecoming game. I watched him, lovingly, experience life in a constant battle.
But I think, and I hope, that because most of his senses were impaired, his soul was so in tune with God that Adam could hear Him whisper. I believe God reminded Adam daily that this body and this life were not forever. That one day he would run and jump and dance with angels. I believe He showed Adam vivid pictures of Heaven in his dreams and showed him the places He hand-picked for my brother. I believe this because I believe my God is a God of hope.
God did not make His people to be people of despair and struggle. He made us to thrive and succeed and love. He built us with instruments to worship Him for the good He does for us. He has promised us just what He promised Adam; a place of unimaginable beauty. A place where darkness does not reside and where fear and hurt do not visit. We live in a world where sin has entered and disrupted what God planned for us.
But we are told to not fear because God has promised these things to us. Circumstances do not change who we are in Christ and it does not change His promises to us. Just because something looks terrible and makes us ache inside, it does not mean we will live that way forever. God has promises for us on this earth and beyond this earth. He wants to bring us good gifts. He promises to bring gifts.
And our God is a promise keeper.
MercyMe sings a song titled “Bring the Rain”. There is a line in that song, “Lord I know there’ll be days when this life brings me pain, but if that’s what it takes to praise You, Jesus, Bring the rain.” I don’t enjoy the pain and the bad circumstances but, in the midst of my mess, I understand that one of two things will happen; God will handle the situation and take it out of my life or, I will face the problem head on and He will protect my future and open doors later on in life.
I have never experienced a hope like I am experiencing now. My circumstances look bad. They are even a bit frightening and are peeking around each corner. But deep inside, I know that this mountain is not too big for my God. My Father is not surprised by the situation and He has already taken care of it. He already has plans for my future. My Father, my awesome and loving God, has a whole box of promises with my name on it, and He is patiently waiting for me to have faith and accept them.