Tuesday, July 2, 2013

On Hoping

Two and a half months without publishing any of the handful of posts begun does not a blogger make.  Rock-steady consistency with projects has always been an area of challenge for me.  I would rather think of this blog, however, more as trying to cultivate habit than a "project." I suppose that means that in cultivating a habit of writing, I should, ya know, write.

In my own defense against myself, I wrote things--didn't post them or polish them or really even finish them...Wait, I'm defending myself against myself, here. I digress.

Tumultuous is a neat word. It tastes and feels like of a swath of rough road; hilly, speedy, twisty. And change brings tumult. Life has been tumultuous in the time I've spent not-posting-yet-dabbling-in-writing. Life has changed in certain aspects for my little family. And we're still all mad here--maybe more so than before. But we've spent the last two and a half months chasing hope. And hope is a funny thing; not so much ha-ha funny but funny-funny.

Studied a passage in scripture recently that I really think encapsulates Hope...the kind that exists despite our nasty circumstances; the God-Hope that He means us to have; the kind that abides among Faith & Love. (And my own circumstances are incomparable to those that other families and people have experienced. I do not ever wish to diminish the severity of what others have gone through.) But I'd like to, for just a second, share what I feel God showed me about Hope.

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
    so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?[b]My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember, as I pour out my soul:how I would go with the throng    and lead them in procession to the house of Godwith glad shouts and songs of praise,    a multitude keeping festival.Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation[c] and my God.My soul is cast down within me;
    therefore I remember youfrom the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
    have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me,    a prayer to the God of my life.I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
    “Where is your God?”
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

The psalmist speaks of a downcast soul; of a soul-thirst for God. He is desperate for relief. His cry is for relief--not from his circumstances but from his wait for God. And yet he waits. With Hope.  His Hope comes from knowing how God acted on his behalf earlier in his life. He remembers how it was when he could praise openly, with abandon. At one point, maybe his lowest, he wonders if he has been forgotten. But he ends with a directive to himself (and to me), a reminder to HOPE.

The last tumultuous two and a half months have set me and my little family panting for God. And the bitter pill to swallow with parched throats was perseverance rather than deliverance; transformation instead of the safety of complacence. But isn't that how God begins to transform us? By allowing us to endure experiences that give us the opportunity to remember what He promises in His Word; to remember His goodness despite what we can see in front of us?

Oh, these are easy words to say and easy to write. But to live them, that's the horse of a different color.  But oh, to rest in that Hope! Life is hard. There's no way around that. But I choose to live, Hoping in God, praising Him, believing that will He use my circumstances, whatever they are, for His good & His glory.

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