i pray for victory and it comes in the form of sheets on my couch instead of admittance into a facility staffed with skilled folks. believing instead that the enemy still has the upper hand in the life of one who longs to be free from his grip, the 5 of us make space in an already tight and cramped home. we spend the mornings on the back porch with tea and cigarettes. she sees me on the floor scrubbing the bathroom, she excuses herself when words are tense between a parent and teen. she joins us in gut laughter at the dinner table over some joke a middle school boy tells. she wakes to this same boy fixing her tea and toast while his parents are at their early morning bible study. this is our junk and our joy. and victory from the One who knows her frame looked like sending her to spend 3 weeks with us, regardless of what i believed.
pain and heart longings were often the topics of our back porch discussions and today as i sit for the first time alone back there, i find myself missing the morning moments of clarity and healing that my Victorious King brought to my doubting and hurting heart through our discussions. i miss being a witness to an enemy who is ruthless and a Mighty God who never lets go, never lets go, never lets go.
there was a day early in februray that marked the beginning of lent; that season of fasting. i had spent time pondering what, if anything, i’d give up. but then a phone call and i forgot all about it as life took it’s own turns and bends and shape.
is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter?
a call to love and be a hope bearer from the One who promises those who hope in Him will not be disappointed. except that i am prone to disappointment, discouragement and such doubt. it grieves me so to admit it. i need His help to overcome my unbelief every. single. day.
i wrestled hard in prayer for this one sleeping on my couch, prayers yes for the Lord to have victory, but cries too that i would believe and not doubt that it was so. that i would carry hope instead of the real hopelessness that i actually felt. and one day she says to me; “you gave me hope. when i didn’t have any hope in myself, you did.”
then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the LORD will answer, you will cry for help, and He will say: Here am I.
the journey for both of us is long and there is no guarantee it will ‘all turn out ok’ as we might think. but there is a God in Heaven and He gives hope to a weary one through a doubting one. Who is a God like our God? able to do the miraculous on a dry and splintery back porch?
and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
i never understood this verse before. but today i see, the only reason hope does not disappoint is because of the Holy Spirit-He does His work through us who are all weakness.
The Strength of our hearts will do His work through us who are all weakness.
take heart, I have overcome. I am the Root, and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star. Yes I am coming soon.
amen. come Lord Jesus. and may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. and when your trust waivers? may He strengthen your frame and satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land.
to draw further in: Isaiah 58, John 16:33; 1 John 5:4-5; Romans 5, 15:13, Revelation 12:11; 15:3-4; 22
Raw beauty in these words, my friend. Thanks for the reminder that we have to hold on to hope even when it seems impossible.
just when i’m feeling all the feels about my heart being out there for all to see, you send courage my way through such kind words. thank you for that!
Going through a “dark night of the soul” and doubts abound — even when I try to stuff them in the creases of my open bible… God-ordained perhaps, that out of nowhere I found your writing on hope.
so glad you found these words to ease the doubts, if even a little. thank you for sending encouragement my way as well!