Friday, July 9, 2010

A Hope that Does Not Disappoint

Hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.(Romans 5:5)

I’ve been thinking a lot about hope this week which reminded me of a conversation I had last year with a woman who was grieving the loss of her son-in-law. She thanked me for giving her hope and I thanked God for reaching out to her through me. I’m not the type of person to go around wearing my pain on my sleeve for the world to see. I’m not looking for pity or sympathy. But every once in a while, God will put me in a situation like this one where my experience is helpful to another person. I’ve faced many challenges in my life including the death of my only child and in carrying me through these hardships, God has forged a deep abiding hope within me that not only colors my attitude and actions but overflows through them to others.

The Oxford dictionary defines hope as expectation and desire. To be truthful, there are many things I desire that I don’t expect. I desire to live a life exempt from crisis and to never again feel the pain of losing a loved one. I desire to always be the perfect daughter, sister, and friend. Those things will never happen, but I want them.

Conversely, there are many things I expect that I don’t desire. I do expect hardships and to lose loved ones throughout the entirety of my lifetime. I expect that sometimes, even though I’ve done my best, I will disappoint those I care about.

And then there is hope. Hope is what gets me through the day. Hope carries me in the strength that resides in the peace and joy of God’s grace. This hope I speak of isn’t easy to come by and yet it’s free to all who reach for it. My hope is born out of the consistent and extraordinary presence of the Holy Spirit in my heart and in my life. Jesus was God’s proof of his love for me and the key to our eternal happy ending. The Spirit’s presence is God’s reassurance to me that he loves me still. His Spirit in my life is the sign of his love and acceptance. His Spirit is the fulfillment of his promise to be with me always. I trust him to guide me through uncertainty, protect me in the face of evil, and carry me through my inability. It is with this hope that I face the crisis and hardships in my life and it is this hope that I desire and expect to share with the world.
About the pictures:
Parkwood Presbyterian Church Garden (July 2009)

2 comments:

Green Grandma said...

A truly realistic view of this thing we call "life."

Common Household Mom said...

It's good to be reminded that our hope is a hope for right here, right now.

As always, beautiful photos. I wonder how many days you sat there, waiting for that rose to bloom fully.