"No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.
We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield. "
Psalm 33:16-20, NIV
You know how sometimes an idea or a theme keeps recurring over and over and over? And there's pretty much no denying that God wants you to get something? Like a recurring theme in the depths of your soul. Like a neon sign that etches its message in your retinas as it flashes so brightly that, even when you close your eyes, all you can see is the word on the sign.
Yeah, I'm right there. And the sign says
It's something I've never really grasped. The concept has always kind of eluded me. I've never really understood exactly what it means. Faith I sort of get. It's knowing without seeing. Believing. Trusting. And peace. Yeah, it's the calm inside that can stay quiet even in the blaring blasts of exploding cannons.
But hope. Well, I've never really gotten it. Until recently when God started flashing His spiritual neon, etching it onto the retinas of my heart's eyes. And I think I'm starting to get it.
Hope is expectation. It's a pregnant mother waiting for her child to arrive so she can wrap it all up in a little baby bundle of unending joy. It's trying a new recipe for dinner for the whole family to enjoy. It's walking down the aisle in a beautful gown to the love of your life and promising to always love. No matter what.
But the problem with hope is the unknown. Because sometimes babies are born with problems. Or not at all. And sometimes dinner gets burned. And sometimes, the promise gives way to the struggle, and marriages fall apart.
And sometimes what we hope for does not happen at all.
That's why it's scary when you find out you're pregnant and you can't feel the baby move yet. It's why I rarely try a new recipe on a weeknight. That is why it's so hard to watch another's marriage end and hope that yours will stand the test of time.
And it's why God never told us to just "hope for the best."
In truth, our only real hope -- the only kind able to anchor our souls is the hope that sets its expectation on the truth of God's unfailing love. My only real hope is to plant my confidence in the character of the very God Who made life itself. The One Who makes babies. And food for new recipes. The One Who thought up marriage.
Because it is futile for me to just hold on to my husband and my marriage for dear life. It is pointless for me to use every ounce of my own strength to keep that promise I made almost 14 years ago. Because he will fail me. But.God.will.not. He promised. And because of Jesus Christ, God is my only real hope. God is THE only Real Hope.
So I will cling to Him as such. I will look to know Him and His ways by studying His Word and listening for His voice in my everyday. I will seek Him and learn His ways. I will keep my eyes on Him. And I will ask HIM to keep my marriage intact. And to help me as I plan dinners for my family. But I will not hope in these things. I will hope in Jesus Christ alone.
And my hope will be sure.
Because He will keep His promise.
No matter what.
The only Real Hope.