This has been an amazing year! That's how I feel. Now there is a part of me that's a little anxious because I didn't accomplish all I set out to do. There's a part of me that's incredibly disappointed, hurt, angry, and despondent about things happening in my family, community, country, and world. As much as I say it's been an amazing year, I have so many reasons to believe otherwise. I'm not choosing to ignore the reality of trials, challenges, and frustrations but I am choosing to hope.
We throw the word around a lot and maybe it's lost some of its meaning and power. But I'd venture to say that its power lies not in the letters but in how we use hope. Where do you place your hopes? Who do you hope in? What do you hope for? When I take a deeper look at how I leverage hope, I can see clearer. When hope is placed in people and things, there is a good chance I will end up disappointed. However, when I dare to hope in the Lord, that's a whole different story.
Read my words carefully, hoping in the Lord isn't telling God what you want and HOPING he'll do exactly what you asked. He's not a genie. Your hope in the Lord is based on your 1. knowledge of who He is and His character and 2. experience in relying on His power.
When you know He's going to give you fresh mercy, grace, love, faithfulness and so much more EVERY DAY, you can hope in that.
I truly believe we experience hopelessness sometimes because we've placed that burden on something or someone other than our Almighty God. Sometimes we place it on ourselves! We look at our skills, talent, experiences, degrees, network, all these tangible markers of success and figure we can hope our way to our dreams. Our plans mirror common societal milestones -- have a great job by this age, a house in that neighborhood, get married to this type of person, etc. But what happens when we don't live up to those external expectations? Fear inches its way in and whispers, 'What if you never make it?' and that really sends you spinning in circles. You did "everything right."
What if I told you it wasn't all left up to you. What you thought was just the right job may have been God preparing you for His prevailing purpose, not for your plan.
When you’re overwhelmed with “who you’re supposed to be” vs. working with God, allowing Him to shape your plans, purpose and path, you will always be afraid of never measuring up. Because you won’t. When you sit down to write your goals or build out your pretty vision board, it's unlikely you include failure, rejection, loss, disappointment, financial troubles, loneliness up there. But those things happen – they always do!
I’ve been meditating on a Scripture the past few weeks that I want to share with you:
Did you catch that? His mercies begin afresh EVERY MORNING. EVERY MORNING. EVERY DAY. He shows up for you, gifting you with new mercy, not day-month-year-old mercy, but it’s FRESH! Do you do the same with Him? Do you wait quietly in prayer, reflection or meditation? Do you search for him, reading Scriptures? The amazing thing is He shows up whether we do or not; but often we take it for granted or worse we simply leave the love, faithfulness, grace he offers every day unused and take on the day using our own very limited power. We try to fight through our fears with our own strength. Human willpower gets you only so far, but know that there is incredible power in His Will.