Hope on Hold

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Here’s my list of things I just really want- gifts I don't deserve but I long for anyway.

  1. A harp. I know- that’s a weird one. I started watching youtube videos by musicians, and somehow came to the conclusion that a harp would be a perfect fit for me. I can NOT sing, but how fun would it be to still make a lovely sound? SO EXPENSIVE.
  2. A puppy. My elderly dog died this year, and I thought I would immediately get a puppy to train as a therapy dog (inspired by my therapist sis-in-law!). But Covid made getting a puppy super expensive with loooooong waiting lists. I settled on a great breeder and am on the waiting list for a puppy… but she/he won’t be coming until late summer, 2021. I can't wait that looooonnnnnng. Patience is NOT my thing
  3. A Klamath Falls office. I have a dream of teaching small group faith-based classes… and want an office of my own that I can make into a safe, beautiful nest. I did find the perfect office, and it’s affordable and doable. I made a low ball offer, hoping God would miraculously open that door and I would be assured this office was exactly what He had in mind. Offer rejected. Wah Wah. I suspect He's probably saying: not quite yet. Or maybe- you have the freedom to do what you want without extra assurance from me? It's kind of hard to tell. You know what I mean? So I wait...
Each one of these deeply held heart’s desires have not come to pass, or at least will not anytime soon. I keep expecting God to just gift me with one or more of these things (entitled much? 😂 I AM a spoiled child), as a sure sign of His favor.
Like- if a used harp was on a hugely discounted sale- I would snap it up and assume that was God telling me: “Yes! Go for it… this is a great way for you to spend your time and be refreshed. You won’t give up after a few weeks on this instrument (remember those drums? 😂)”
You know what I am really longing for? What all these deferred hopes represent?

I’m longing for God to tell me very clearly I have a bright future, and He approves of me and my choices. That He delights in me.

And, that even if our political system blows up… He’s got His compassionate eye on me and my family and my friends. That He loves America and will make beauty out of the ashes.
That my life has purpose, and it’s a good one- one that I am fully equipped to fulfill.
That my inelegant attempts to love Him and others are precious to Him.
That I am meant to nurture (puppy!) and be nurtured right back (puppy!).

A Hope Fix

At the very root, I simply want to be cheered up, RIGHT NOW, in a world that looks pretty dark.
I bet a lot of us have hopes that have been deferred. We’re heartsick and heart-weary. We all want the things (even if they’re only temporary) that will provide at least a little relief from the hardness of today: food, shopping, alcohol, binge watching, career aspirations, a new hobby, etc. Just something to make us feel a little better in the now.

I WANT to learn how to hope in God. But that’s hard! We’re talking about shifting everything to an invisible Hope. He’s generally not in the realm of senses, where I can see him wag his tail, or hear his melody, or see the color of His walls. That’s SO HARD.

And it’s also very unpredictable. Putting my hope in Him doesn’t translate into certain guarantees.

  • He never promised America will be O.K.
  • No promises my political candidate will win.
  • No assurance the law of the land will reflect my values.
  • No promise that people will start being kind and seeing one another of great value.
  • No guarantee that I’ll be excellent at my job or ministry or maneuvering life when it’s hard.
  • No vows that my loved ones won’t get sick.
  • No promises that I won’t be judged by others or that I'll manage to do things right all the time.
  • No assurance that the people in power deserve my trust or are intent on good.

A Guaranteed Hope Fix

So all of that’s HARD (have I said that once or twice?). One thing I’m trying to do is move beyond the senses for Hope- including the upcoming election. Yes, I’ll vote. And I’ll eventually get the puppy and maybe the harp and, Lord willing- lease the office.
But for now, I’m going to lean into this idea below ⤵️⤵️⤵️⤵️⤵️- one that I can’t see or hear or smell or touch… and let that be enough. Let my deeply held longing (to be fully known and loved) be fulfilled and bring enough life to get me through.

Sometimes He fulfills the littler hopes we have in service of the bigger Hope (and sometimes He does not). The deeper Hope is that this is His view of me, the result of His lavish grace ⤵️.

“This is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.” ~ God

(P.S. I will also be binge watching reality TV- I’m just a human after all! And I’ll keep waiting and hoping and praying for all the THINGS… and know He’ll provide only those that will be good for me.)

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." Prov. 13:12

What hopes have you had to put on hold during this hard season? How are you coping in the waiting?

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