Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hope Stands

War movies are intrinsically about hope. Hope that, eventually, the horror will end and there will have been some greater purpose to the horrific suffering of so many people. Rarely will you see a movie that doesn't have some sort of moral or inspirational message interwoven with the carnage. If there wasn't that hope, even I could probably not continue to watch them. If Band of Brothers was only set during those cold, despairing nights of waiting in the Battle of the Bulge, I'm guessing it wouldn't be considered one of the greatest war movies of all time. It would be dreary and heart-wrenching and we'd wonder to ourselves what the point of it all was.

It's taken me some time to learn how to hope. I've spent months living in this place where I've kept my hope suppressed in anticipation of disappointment. Perhaps if I didn't hope too much, then the disappointment wouldn't hurt quite as much. I've learned pretty painfully that this is total hogwash. Even after weeks of not hoping very much, disappointment is still disappointment. It's even worse, actually, because it's disappointment delivered to a soul that has chosen fear and self-protection over abundance and trust. That's a pretty toxic combination.

So, for the past few weeks, I've chosen to stand in hope. I've chosen to place my trust in a mysterious God whose timing confuses me and whose presence sometimes feels elusive. I've leaned on those things I know are true of Him, his trustworthiness and his goodness, and fought against the lies that try to convince me that hope is fruitless and God is vindictive. I've called several friends to hope alongside me and to remind me of this choice I've made. My husband and I have boldly and unashamedly prayed for the desires of our hearts together and eagerly wait on God.

Like soldiers in war, I have to move forward not knowing when the end of the war will come, not knowing how my hope will play out and knowing that, inevitably, there will be disappointments along the way. I do know that choosing to hope opens me to hearing from God in a much greater way than do self-pity and despair and that no matter how long this waiting might be, I'd rather do it with God than without Him.

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