Hope

hope

Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord…But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.

Jeremiah 17:5, 7

 

I have a picture frame sitting on my writing desk right now that displays this reference. It’s there, not only to challenge me to hope, but to remind me that I must put my hope in the right place.

Today I sit here again, intimidated at the prospect of final edits on the book I’m writing. (It’s been undergoing “final” edits for a while now…). I’m afraid to finish because that means deciding whether to try for a publisher or just self-publish.

I’m unsure of what to try, what to expect, and yet I find myself back at this verse and it holds a question as it always does, a question I must ask when I begin to back away and grow discouraged: Where is my hope?

To rely on human connections, human charm, human strategy, human strength, human resources, human effort, is to turn away from the Lord. And when I turn my gaze from Him, I will always grow discouraged in proportion. The challenges grow larger and more impossible. What I have to offer is laughable compared to them.

Who am I? Who am I? I ask, shrinking back, wondering what I was thinking to even try.

But the right question is who is He? Who is He?

As I look to Him, I hope and I am not ashamed. I trust Him and there I find blessing. I lean forward and find what I do not expect.

And it is good.

 

So Lord-

With this step, and every other, help me just to lean forward, eyes fixed on you, and follow. Teach me not try to figure out what to expect around this corner, but to find fresh hope in knowing you will walk me through it. You will give me all I need to face it, when it is time.

Be my confidence when my confidence is lacking. Remind me that nothing is too hard for you, especially when my hope hesitates at the sight of me. You do not depend on large offerings or great talent. You use willing hearts. (2 Chronicles 16:9)

You do not ask me to risk for no reason, and I do not have to fear rejection or failure. They are not the end of me, because I am not rejected by you; and because if I have obeyed you, I have not failed.

If I have chased after you and find myself in water too deep, it is there I will find your grip steady and sure. I may be cold and wet and disappointed, but I will find again that I am not out here alone.

And maybe, just maybe, this time, I’ll walk.

Here’s hoping.

 

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
    no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

Psalm 34:5

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