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Thursday, February 4, 2016

God of Hope



I saw this picture on a friend's FB wall the other day.  I was impressed:


Then my friend Sharon wrote this, today, "The distance between, 'Yay! I'm having a great day!' and 'Wow, this really sucks,' is very short. Couple of minutes, maybe, or a few hundred characters." 

Wow, can I ever relate.  I need friends to say things like this, because it keeps me grounded, and it allows me to be human without worrying that my "amazing, ordinary, and awful" is so far beyond normal.  I'm glad I'm not alone in this, because, honestly, I think one of the biggest risks of sharing so much life together is that we see each other at our best and our worst, and sometimes these moments are only separated by... well... mere moments... 

It can be frustrating.  It can be uncomfortable.  Sometimes we don't even know what to do for one another, but I will take silence that stretches for far too long, followed by an awkward hug, over the expectation that I should be someone I'm not any day of the week... especially today.  The alternative to this tricky life of relationships and community is not sharing life transparently.  That's not a good alternative.

If you read this page regularly, you know I was completely fed up with David recently, but somewhere in the midst of all of his running from people who were trying to kill him and stuff, he penned this, "As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more" (Psalm 71:14, NIV).

God is a God of hope.  But let us not forget that, "hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently" (Romans 8:24-25, NIV).  As a side note, all of Romans 8 is pretty good...

And so may we jump into life with both feet, praising more and more in the amazing... in the ordinary... and, perhaps, just stepping back and allowing the Spirit to intercede (see Romans 8:26-27) in the awful.  May we allow others the same grace, and may we listen... really listen... to their stories of triumph and heartbreak, recognizing that we are all the same.  We all have this kind of narrative whether we share it or not.  And God offers hope for every one of us.

L.

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