The word, Hope is both a noun and a verb! This noun called hope is an anchor, a resting place, and a solid foundation. So many times we think of hope as some unattainable, ethereal, abstract idea. Hope is so much more. It brings comfort and solace to the soul. It speaks not only of what can be, but also what is. Hope is a solid rock, a tangible thing on which a life can be built.
The verb, Hope is an action. Hoping, dreaming, and acting… they are all connected. Hoping is what keeps us looking forward and doing what seems to be impossible.
We need both. We need that solid rock to stand on. We also need the verb to keep us moving toward a better life, a bigger dream and a brighter tomorrow!
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand! All other ground is sinking sand!
Keep Hope Going!
Coming soon… a new book, “The Bright Shadow of God” Weekly meditations to bring hope, encouragement, peace, renewal and inspiration. Experience life in the Bright Shadow of God. The book will be available to order soon. If you are interested, please add a comment.
As autumn approaches, we begin to see changes. The leaves start to turn colors and we feel that nip in the evening air. The smoky haze settles in the valleys, changing the perspective of the horizon. Some embrace the change and get a sense of anticipation. Others get a feeling of dread… wondering, “what’s coming next?”
Although change is inevitable, our attitude toward change is a choice. I must say, I have always been a bit “change averse”. A lot of this aversion is based upon huge changes in my life, leaving me reeling. Change can be unsettling, to say the least. But, change can also bring beautiful, new things into our lives. It can knock us out of a place of complacency into new learning and new growth.
I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3… “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven…” It goes on to say that He has made everything beautiful in its season. Change will happen… it may be unsettling, it may be uncomfortable. Ultimately it will be made beautiful by the One who brings about change.
I am learning to embrace change. I am learning to believe it has a purpose. I am learning that what God does is for our good and is good for eternity. He has planted eternity in our hearts. Our steps… even the changes… are ordered by Him and are made beautiful in time.
The first shining flakes of snow fell in our yard today. There is a childlike thrill when I see it begin to snow… a leap of hope and joy in my heart!
The flakes quit almost as quickly as they started. As I drove over the hill to work I watched them begin to fall again in earnest.
As they fell, I watched the scarred areas of earth transform into a blanket of white. The clean brightness covered the scars, transforming a bleak, stark, sad landscape into a beautiful thing to behold.
I began to sing the words of an old hymn:
Whiter than snow, yes, whiter than snow,
Now wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
The bright shadow of God falls on wounded souls, it falls on tragedy and heartbreak, it falls on loss and grief. It falls today and washes everything whiter than snow.
A friend posted this on their facebook page… It so resonated with me I had to share it. Thanks, Chad Chriestenson…
“We should never feel small or insignificant. Yes, it’s true our planet is but a speck in a grand, majestic sea of stars and wonder. A universe filled with many celestial objects and wonders that utterly dwarf our earth. But should we feel pointless compared to this? No! For out of this entire plane of existence, God holds you more precious in his sight than the most brilliant star, the most beautiful galaxy, the most awe inspiring aspects of nature, or even the most valuable jewels. If our God in all of his majesty is that focused on us compared to everything else, why should we worry what tomorrow will bring or if we are ignored? He is the God who sees us. The one who sees us as being so valuable that he came to earth to be with us.”
What a perfect thought, especially at this time of year. So many are lonely at this time of year and feel insignificant. If you were the only one, Jesus would have come for you. God with us… Emmanuel.
Come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
I cannot adequately express the joy and hope I feel at this season.
There is no specific reason, no epiphany, no “aha” moment… just joy unspeakable and full of glorious hope.
I trust I am not alone… this life is not the end, this life is not the final answer… this life leads from one glory, to another glory, to another glory… it keeps getting better until that day of ultimate joy, when we see the face of Jesus, whose birth we celebrate!
Remember… Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. ~ Psalm 30:5
Enter this season with joy, knowing that Christ came to save us, to be with us. Face the new year with the hope that He has gone to prepare a place for us, where we can be with Him for eternity.
Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.
This summer I lost both of my parents within a period of eleven weeks. Mom passed in June and dad passed in August. Hundreds of people came to their memorial service to celebrate their lives. Anyone who knew them, loved them.
As immediate family gathered for the internment, I was able to hold each of their ashes for several moments to say “goodbye”… As I stood, holding the leather box containing dad’s ashes… I thought of the many lessons he taught me. I was grasping for some truth, some experience to hold onto as the funeral director took the box from me.
Just as the box was removed a little gust of wind blew through the breezeway where we stood. I looked out toward the cemetery grounds and saw a few leaves blow from the trees. Instead of falling to the ground as I had expected, they gently lifted on the breeze and floated up… up… up… until they disappeared beyond the roof of the building.
Instead of acting as expected, we can also choose to let go and move upward and onward, toward greater things. Yes, we feel the grief and the loss… but only for a moment. We lift on the wind of the legacy and continue on.
Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT)
No, dear friends, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.