Confession 458: Hope

I have to be honest…my soul has been heavy lately. The divisive political cycle, the continued inequity, the screaming of Earth in frustration of what humanity has done and is doing to the sacred majesty of God’s own creation…not to mention a global pandemic that makes every decision fraught with anxiety and uncertainty. Sometimes, it’s too much and my souls sinks under the weight of it.

I’ve been praying over and over the past several days…seeking some sort of wisdom from above, and what God keeps quietly speaking to my heart is this:

To be honest, when this verse kept popping into my head, I essentially said “Thanks, but no thanks” to God. This verse did not seem useful in a time when everything seems to be spiraling into the abyss of emotional chaos. What is there to praise, I thought. What is God doing to save us from the mess we’ve created? Standing with feet planted, fists firmly placed on hips, I said to God, You’re not fixing this. How can I put my hope in you when you’re not changing anything?

Just writing that makes me nervous because I feel that God would be well within his right to zap me right now. There’s a part of me that’s very hesitant to question God, as I know that God truly is all-power and all-knowing combined. But God is also all-love–love incarnate, and so there is a gentleness and patience that he brings to every conversation. While I stamp my foot in indignation, he quietly listens and waits. For what? For the inevitable conclusion that he knows I will get to as I continue to process the state of my disconsolation with him. God reminded me, yet again, that he knows what is going on. He knows what a mess we’ve made, and it breaks his heart. God wants so much more for us, but he’s not going to force us into it. We have a role to play, too. We have to be better at living as he’s taught us. We have to be better at loving as he loves us. We have to be better at fighting for the things he fights for–justice, peace, mercy, and salvation. We have to be better.

That is not at all the direction I intended this post to take. Honestly, I was getting ready to tell you all about the stories God has shared with me of how he has worked in the lives of others to effect change. I was going to remind you that we serve a mighty God, one in whom we can hope with confidence to bring us his victory. And that’s all true, my friends. But as I write about God and his power, he seems to be reminding me that I have a responsibility, too. I can’t just throw my hands up in the air and say, “Well, God’s obviously not interested.” The truth is that God is very much interested and has given me (and you) the tools to get to work. God’s not jumping in like an overbearing helicopter parent and fixing it all for us. He’s empowering us to do the work with him. His promise is to be there with us…leading, teaching, strengthening….and when we get to a mountain we cannot seem to move….when we’ve exhausted all of the resources he’s given us…then, my friends….then we see his mighty hand.

Paul reminds us in the book of Ephesians that God can do more than we ask–more than we imagine. I don’t know about you, but I can imagine a lot! There is a promise here that if we continue to follow where God leads, if we continue to engage in the work that he gives us, if we continue to place our hope in him, he’s going to move those mountains. He’s going to transform this world into something we cannot even fathom….something so good we didn’t even know to ask for it! But, we have to work.

So, where is God calling you to go this week? Who is God calling you to reach out to? What encouragement is God calling you to offer? What battle is God asking you to fight? The tools are there, in God’s Word, in our time spent with other believers, in our worship, in our prayer. So pick them up. And in doing so, our souls will be lifted, too.

Blessings and Peace,