Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Holding on to Hope

I just watched part of the Prince Caspian movie on TV, and was challenged by the scene where Lucy wants to keep waiting for Aslan instead of taking matters into their own hands and going out to fight. Peter boldly and "wisely" tells Lucy, "I think we've waited for Aslan long enough!" The battle that follows is a sober lesson for Peter as many precious lives are lost, and the turnout is not as he had hoped.

This scene made me think about Abraham and Sarah taking matters into their own hands in a similar way as Peter did when they decided to use Sarah's maidservant Hagar to have a child. They certainly had waited a long time for the promise of God, and it did seem as if Sarah was barren. But God's plan was for them to wait on Him for another 13 years before the blessing of His covenant would pass through an offspring coming from both Abraham and Sarah's bodies. (Genesis 15-18)

I can also hear Saul saying those words, "I think I've waited long enough!" when he gave into fear and panic and offered the sacrifice himself instead of waiting for Samuel to arrive in 1 Samuel 13. (more about Saul's inability to wait, in contrast to David, in Everlasting Covenant)

I can hear myself thinking the words, "I think we've waited on God long enough!" in regards to our adoption. What I wrote last month about Welcoming Unmet Expectations, I think could be subtitled "Growing Deeper and in New Directions Through Disappointments with God." Holding on to hope means to let go of the idea that the desired outcome must come in a certain way and by a certain time. It is accepting the mystery of God in such a way as to expect Him to surprise us. It is holding the prayer for God to act, with an open hand that says He will help me to accept however He answers. The desired object or outcome is not more important to me than God Himself.

Yet I am confident that I will see the LORD's goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.
Psalm 27:13-14

Holding on to hope during times of disappointment and extended times of waiting is confidence that God's goodness can come to us even come through pain and suffering.

Our hope is in Him and not in what we're asking Him for.

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