Why it’s safe to keep hoping

I’m looking forward to driving with my parents through the mountains. Hoping for sunshine. For energy to enjoy it. I’m trying to learn how to live on tiptoes. So often I hold back, don’t let myself hope too much so that I won’t be disappointed. But it binds me within my own small world, hands and heart tightly closed against God and His good gifts.

 

So how? How do I live expectantly without setting myself up for disappointment?

 

I think it comes down to this: In what am I hoping?

 

As God is awaking me to long for His presence, other things take their proper place. Clear skies would be lovely, and strength to walk in the mountains. But really the reason I desire these things is because I think that they’re the ways I will be most able to enjoy God’s love. I know from the past that mountains remind me of my smallness, put me deeper in awe at the beauty and majesty of the Creator of such glory. I forget that what really matters is not the way God reveals Himself to me, but that He does. He who created all this is plenty creative enough to surprise me with His presence in ways that I don’t expect. (He often does!)

 

The “secret” to hope-full, joy-full, faith-full living is hoping not for particular pre-defined goods, but for God who is present in all. It’s playing hide and seek with God, keeping eyes open for the ways He chooses to reveal Himself, rather than assuming I know which bush will flame with His presence today. It means choosing living, breathing expectancy over expectations which strangle.

 

And this is why God’s declaration, “those who hope in Me will not be disappointed,” cannot be separated from the preceeding words, “Then you will know that I am the LORD.”  (Isaiah 49:23) Only as we know Him, the wildly faithful Lover whose ways are as much higher than ours as the galaxies are distant from the earth, can we face the future on tiptoes, confident that more than we long for Him, He longs to give us Himself.