I feel like I've been thinking about hope a lot, wondering about it more in the past few months than I ever have before. In the midst of studying the theology of "asking" at my church, I find it is quite hard to ask (pray to God) without hope.
But, to hope is such a fragile action. "Don't make me hope", I've said to God more times than I can count. "It hurts too much", I proclaim. For obvious reasons...mainly, if I hope and the thing I hope for does not occur, what then God?
But, I must also say that hoping is fertile ground and having hope is much more reasonable than not having it. Especially with a God like ours, whose specialty is nothing less than the impossible. This reality has become even more real to me during this past advent season. My wildest ideas, the craziest dreams I feel God tenderly drop in my heart, actually seem logical compared to this: a simple virgin is visited by an angel and told that she will become pregnant with a child whose father is God. Nothing in her frame of reference could have prepared her for such a pronouncement. It defied logic. It ignored the precepts of biology. It slapped the face of culture and propriety.
I pray to learn and know what it means to have a greater hope and trust in my Father.
Emily Dickinson says, so beautifully, that "hope is the thing with feathers, that perches on the soul--that sings the tune without words--and never stops--at all--"
Oh how I pray for that hope that God has perched on my soul today. I do pray that God would answer that hope. I pray also for the hopes I have not even voiced. I pray that I would have the ability to place those hopes in His hands, the hands of my Father who truly does love me and who desires to reward me.
"...and without faith it is impossible to please him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him." Heb 11
His rewards are great and I've seen them come in many forms, not often in the way I'd ever expect. Actually, hardly ever how I would expect. Yet, even though he might not answer the cry of my hoping as I might imagine I would want it to be answered, he answers in ways that I need and even deeply desire (sometimes without my knowing)to be answered.
let us be people of restored hope...