Thursday, December 9

Here, then, is real hope...

PhotobucketThis week our Advent readings from this book have centered on Hope. If you want to read along with us, the suggested scripture passages are Isaiah 40:1-11, Psalm 85, 2 Peter 3:8-14, Mark 1:1-8 and Psalm 71.  Each week there are five, so my goal is to read one per day.  Even when it's only a few verses, I believe that those words are life and power.  I pray that God opens them up to me, helps me to understand His word and will a bit more through the words.

In addition to suggested scripture readings, there are quotes from other brothers and sisters in the faith.  This week featured a few paragraphs called Elusive Hope from Alex Davis.  My favorite part:

Here, then, is real hope; not that we passionately want to be more and do more, but that the one who creates and sustains and cares for the universe waits for us to create and sustain and care too.  So consider, Hope doesn't start with you, depend on you, or end with you. It starts, depends and ends in Jesus Christ.  He connects you to the Father and fills you with the Spirit, empowering you to meet others with the grace that every relationship will require.  And when grace is mutually given, hope begins moving afresh.

Authenticity Alert:  I don't know about you, but sometimes I really struggle with feeling like I need to create hope or faith or joy or whatever.  I find myself straining to produce whatever it is I think I'm supposed to. Several years ago I heard someone talk about this.  He said something like, "Look at the apple tree.  It's not straining to produce apples. It's not toiling or striving, buckling down and thinking, "'Make apples.  I must make apples!' It just does it." 

And yet, I still labor under the wait of my own pride, my own belief that somehow I can make this happen.  In my mind, I'm closing my eyes, struggling to produce what I think is expected.  But the Word calls it the "fruit of the Spirit", not the fruit of April.  It's not up to me to manufacture hope.  There is one who has provided it, who gives it.  Hope, this elusive thing that "keeps to hints and whispers and shadows" starts, depends and ends in Him.

For in Him we live and move
and have our being.
Acts 17:28


Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Hope doesn't start with me, depend on me, or end with me?? What?? Thank goodness. :)

Beautiful post and timely reminder. Thank you!

ps - I'm loving your blog background!

April@ Natural Nester said...

Oh my...a comment from my all-time favorite blogger? Thank you SO much for stopping by Shannon!!