Finding Hope

Tomorrow marks the observance of the death of Jesus. It’s a solemn occasion usually, where we look upon the death and suffering of a man that would take the brunt of the cruelest violence imaginable so that we may have life. Depending on the portrayal, there’s not much hope.

I need hope.  I need things to look forward to.  I need to see good in situations.  That’s been hard lately.  Once again, I found myself stuck in my mind and not continually and intentionally turning those thoughts over to God.  I was trying to read between lines that weren’t there, starting to convince myself that things were happening that weren’t reality, and the worst part–retracing and rehashing a lot of past thoughts and feelings related to something that happened several years ago that needs to stay in the past because it’s been appropriately dealt with, dissected, turned over to God, and I simply refuse to be that victim again.

I don’t need old behaviors in my life.  They aren’t edifying to God or beneficial to my life.  They get me stuck in my head in a slippery slope of wishing I could be “more human” because of some of the things I (wrongly perceive) that I’m missing out on in life because of the pursuit of my call to full time ministry.  I know it’s hogwash, so I’m not even going to elaborate that part further.  I’ve gotten caught into the lie of loneliness, and feeling excluded from the fellowship and recreation of those that I interact with outside of direct ministry–feeling like I’m being perceived often as my position and not as a person, an individual, that loves life and wants to have one too!

Anyway, long (and sufficiently twisted in my mind) story short, I was chatting with someone the other that said something I don’t even think they registered as being a poignant thought, but it got my mind around back to the point of letting go and letting things work out.  God knows the desires of my heart, as “human” as they are sometimes, and I know that everything committed Him to prayer will be addressed in His perfect timing and not of my own will.  I need to rest.  I need to stop trying to make things happen sometimes and just let life be life and unfold.  I fight too hard to make my will happen that I focus on the trees and miss the forest.

So where does that leave me right now? Clinging to hope where I can.  It’s hard to find hope in what appears to be hopeless situations.  When Jesus uttered His final words from the cross, it wasn’t in defeat–those words, “Into your hands, I commit my spirit,” are words of contentment. Jesus’ purpose was served.  There’s hope in that.  There’s something more.  And the cool part, I know the rest of the story–there’s victory.

The trials of life on my plate right now won’t last forever.  I am stronger than I used to be.  Did you know that I can actually carry on a conversation and look people in the eye now? That I can comfortably speak without feeling self conscious or inferior, like what I have to say matters? I feel confident in my skin–I can’t really say that I love the way I look, but I’m getting there, but I can look at myself and appreciate the appearance.  Works of grace. Amazing work of God in me.

It’s not just weight loss (though 110lbs down and rocking sizes I wore when I got married is pretty great), it’s about the whole and healthy life I’m gaining.  Great and abundant life because of my obedience to God’s plans for me.  I’m excited to see where things keep going.  That’s hope.

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