The Hope in Front of Me

The Hope in Front of Me

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As I made my way scrolling through Facebook as a part of my normal morning rituals today, a couple friends had posted things that made me stop and think. As usual, as soon as I saw them, my mind started formulating a comment, a mile long, as usual. Before I got too far in however, I thought, maybe the blog I seldom use is a better venue for expressing my thoughts.
The first friend, posted about an “impossible dream” God placed in His family’s heart, quite some time ago. He mentioned that while he first started to think of how he might go about finding a solution to what God has called them to, He soon realized that it was God who was in charge of that. Everything we have is His, and He is indeed in control. 
My other friend, posted something interesting as well. She mentions that she has often been called an idealist, because she’s able to see the positive in something others only see as negative. This, she says, is because She’s seen what God can do and all she has to do is trust Him.
Both of my friends are right, and have encouraged me this morning!
I myself have struggles, as a Christian, with my perspective on things. I’ve often thought of myself as a realist-as much as a Christian who’s seen the hand of God work and provide many many times can be anyways-and that’s not always a good thing. If  you’ve know me or been following my blog for a while, you’ll probably recognize some of these tendencies.
This is how the dictionary defines a realist.
Realist
noun
1. a person who tends to view or represent things as they really are.
2. an artist or a writer whose work is characterized by realism.
3. Philosophy. an adherent of realism.
While I certainly don’t ascribe to the philosophy of it, the ideology rears its ugly head more often than I’d like to admit. I have often in the past related to Thomas and Peter, who doubted Jesus and His power. This, I’d say, is because of a realist perspective. To some extent, all humans have it. Any time we doubt, it’s our limited human comphrension that restricts our belief in the potential of God to do the “impossible”.  The irony is, like the desciples, I have seen God do so many miraculous things in my life and in the lives of others, that its actually foolish to expect anything otherwise. If things didn’t seem impossible though, they wouldn’t seem miraculous when God actually did them.
This is my dilemma. I struggle on a daily basis, and have to work very hard, to sacrifice my own limited understand for God’s. I fail at this so many times, but I continue to trust Him more and more with each time He shows out. Faith, however, is what should happen before that.
In the King James Translation, Hebrews 11:1 says, “ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

I always like to look at various translations though, when I meditate and think on a specific verse. In the Amplified Bible translation, it says this though, which I find clearer for this.

” Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, [a]the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].”

Did you catch that? The assurance, the confirmation of the things we hope for but don’t see, the conviction of our reality. Wow. God often challenges us with a seemingly impossible obstacle. If we only see things with our restrive human view, we miss out on the anticipation of God’s full glory! See, in the back of my mind I know what God can do. I’ve seen it! Over and over I’ve seen it! But all to often, not only do I fail to see all the little ways that God intervenes in my daily life, but sometimes I stumble over my own doubt. I see this obstacle or frustration, and instead of praying and sincerely hoping-not wishful thinking kind of hope, but a real, hope-that God will make the way.  Proverbs 3:5-6 reminds us  to”Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our own understanding. But God’s word clearly says that if we are truly submitting to God’s will, and doing what He has asked of us, He will make our paths straight. Too often our paths get cluttered with brush and trees that block our view. I think that is sometimes because we chose our own will over His, and set down a path with a restrictive view. He can certainly use that as a tool to teach us, but God desires the best for our life. Earlier in that chapter, God says that clinging to his commands and teachings will give us a long and prosperous life! We forget that though don’t we? God wants good things for us! He has a hope and a future for us, but we try to go our own way, because of our own understanding, and we set ourselves up to fail.

For me, a year ago, I had no idea that God would call me to start a jewelry business of all things. I had no idea that God would use something like that for His glory in my life. I had no idea how my family could make extra money, or that I’d ever have something that felt like gave me a purpose.

I was barely surviving on autopilot, with depression looming over me like huge black clouds. But I’d hidden deep down in my heart that God loved me and wanted good for me. It didn’t feel like it. It felt like He was so far from me, and I ached for Him and His closeness. It wasn’t that I had moved from Him either, which tested my faith to the max. I was accused of not loving God enough, and not trusting in Him. The truth is, all along I was battling an actual mental illness that I needed medicine for, but the devil will exploit any weakness. He clouded my view, and had me stumbling along, feeling isolated and alone. As if thinking that God somehow could ever be far from His child! But somehow, all along, I had the faith of a mustard seed that kept me hanging on. God never actually let go of me. Not once. And it was only through Him in His mercy that He brought people into my path who cleared the brush from the way, and helped me get help.  When I was unable to do anything in my own strength, He picked me up and carried me out of isolation and into a step study and Celebrate Recovery, where I met so manHe restored my relationship with my sister, who actually turned out to be an amazing blessing in my life. She’d been through the same struggle exact battle before, and God used her and her husband to offer real hope and encouragement to Jacob and I that things didn’t have to be this way.   And yet, I struggle with God’s ability to move mountains!!

So my challenge to you is this. What is God calling you to today, that you need to trust Him in? Put aside the obstacles in front of you to high to climb over and to wide to walk around, and God will give you wings.

 

-Mel

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