Saturday, December 9, 2006

I understand, now... a little...

I finally get it, a bit - why things have been so hard this semester. Good conversation with a friend spurred some insight from the Holy Spirit. I understand a little now why the last many, many months have been so very difficult. It has to do with the wounds, yes, with the weariness, etc. But those things are tied into something deeper. Hope. What do we do when the wounds not only hurt but chip away at hope? Till it feels like every hope we've had in the last seven months has at some level been crushed or dashed? Till every place where we looked forward with expectation instead found another needle pricking away at the skin, another small dagger to the heart?

This makes sense of a great many things: why everything has been so bone-wearying, why the wounds have been so deeply piercing, why they've taken so very long to even begin to heal. It explains why I have been simply drained of strength to press on. (It's okay: God's strength is what we need anyway, and there is more than enough of His strength and power for us, and He makes a way for us in every trial.)

When all your hope is being drained, it's hard to keep going, because you begin to feel as if there's nothing to keep going for.

It makes your every effort seem pointless and meaningless.

When your hopes are all - every one of them - abstracted, it becomes difficult to persevere.

But we don't have to create hope for ourselves. We know Him who is the very Hope of our lives. When we fix our eyes on Him, it is then that the glory of what He is doing begins - just begins - to become real in our lives. And that glory is all the hope we need to run that race with endurance, to press on to the finish line with all that He has placed within us.

Yes, hope can be beaten and crushed. But where is our hope from, ultimately? Is it from our circumstances, our situations, our dreams? Or is it from - and in - God alone?

For You are my hope; / O Lord GOD, you are my confidence from my youth. (Psalm 71:5)

And now, Lord, for what do I wait? / My hope is in You. (Psalm 39:7)

I think I'm going to try to write a song out of some of the context of all of that. God needs to be glorified in my life, in every thing I say, in everything I do. Including in a season where all my hopes have been one by one crushed.

Is it, perhaps, so that He can fill up that space with a greater dream? With more perfect visions? With a deeper more abiding joy?

With hope that endures?

I believe it is. I believe my God is God. And He is good. And above all, He loves us. He loves you. He loves me.

- Chris

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