…But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
That scripture convicts me to think bigger and increase my willingness to believe in what I haven’t seen. But can we just take a second and be real about how painful it can be to have hope?
Have you ever wanted a job really badly? You feel like it’s yours so you share it with a friend? Then you don’t get it. So then you find another one and the excitement comes back, but you don’t get that one either. So next time you keep it to yourself so that your hopes aren’t up and you can take your loss quietly.
Have you ever wanted to see someone be healed from a life destroying disease? You pray for them. You pray for healing. You continue to watch them suffer. You pray harder because you have hope. Then, it gets to the point where you see that it’s not getting better. Against all logic, you press beyond the cognitive dissonance and you continue to have hope. You see them hurting and realize that they need and want rest, but you continue to believe. The hope helps your mind rest, but makes your heart ache because your heart acknowledges the reality.
Have you ever decided to open your heart to someone new only to find that they’re gonna break it too? Part of you wants to try again, but the other part just wants to admit that having hope sets you up for disappointment.
After so much hurt and disappointment, life teaches us to be pessimistic or unmoved so that the bad doesn’t damage and the good comes as a total surprise. But I just want to say that no matter how much it hurts, have hope. Believe only the best things are coming for you and your people. Somebody has to see the glass half full. If you can recall the hurt that all the above situations caused, you can also recall life going on and eventually getting better after them.
Hurt happens. So does healing. Keep hoping for the best.
I had a conversation recently and while we were talking, I immediately felt more peace. Because in that moment, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper to me “It was never just about you.”
That was an insanely profound moment for me. One of my repeated prayers has been to just understand the purpose for some of the things I have dealt with. I’ve let the scripture replay in my mind that “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” But I lived in a constant place of wondering “Where is the good?”
Then suddenly, after a decade of asking, I received and experienced the purpose. In that moment, a life of pain and 10 years of prayers made sense for me. It all made sense when I understood that the situations were never about me.
I can’t get my time back and I actually don’t want it. I have my peace and I have made a difference.
I have learned something recently that it so simple that it’s hard to comprehend. If you want to believe in something, just believe. Did you get that? If you want to think something is true then just think it. And when you are convinced that it’s true, you’ll start to act as if you believe it.
I really wanted to believe that God’s word is true when it says ask and it shall be given, but in order to show I believed it I had to ask and expect that I’d get what I asked for.
It’s hard to believe God will give you something you don’t even want. That’s why it’s important to meditate on the Word. The Gospel according to John tells us the God is His Word and Jesus is the Word wrapped in flesh. When you meditate on it, you meditate on Him. Before you know it, His thoughts are yours. Your desires are His.
You’ll be able to move past wanting random things and getting disappointed because you can’t have them.
As you meditate, you’ll learn to wait. I don’t just mean sit idly, I mean to really wait on God. You’ll know the difference because the bible says that waiting on God will increase and renew your strength. If waiting is making you weaker, assess yourself. Are you being purposeful or doubtful?
It’s hard to believe God for some things, but He knows that so He gives us faith. So believe because you can.
There was a day back in March when we had a really big snowfall here in Michigan. A couple days later we got rain and sleet and it made a really weird shimmering sheet of ice to cover the snow. The ice was kinda thin. When I stepped on it, it gave way and it had a sound and sensation that reminded me of how it probably feels when someone is ice skating on a frozen lake and they there’s a thin layered spot.
Anywho, I was walking my girls to school one morning after that rain came. We walked across the lawn because the driveway was pure ice. With every step I’d hear and feel the ice give way as my foot sunk down through the 8 inches of snow beneath it. My oldest kiddo, who’s 8, was just trudging through it ahead of me. My little one, who’s 5, was falling with every step. She had on all her winter gear and she was having fun so I didn’t trip. But eventually, I noticed that she was catching up to me. Just when I noticed she called out to me and said “Claricha, I’m walking in your footprints.”
I could hear the Holy Spirit talking to me through her words. After I dropped them off, I took a moment to ask the Lord what He was saying. He took me to this scripture
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 NLT)
He began to explain to me one of the things He meant there. My little one was falling because she was trying to create her own path, but she was ill-equipped. When she looked up, she could see the a safe path was already made for her. All she had to do was walk in it. And that’s what the Lord is saying to us today. Just as He told His disciples that day, He’s the way. He has already paved the way. If we would stop trying to do things in our own strength and look up we will see that the way has already been made for us. All we have to do is look up and walk in the footprints.
The funny thing is when we came back she started making her own tracks again and falling again. Then I reminded her to just walk in my steps. She got back on track and she was fine. The Lord is saying that to you today. Even if you’ve made a misstep, you have time to get back in line with Him.
When I was 17, I was in the Michigan State University Gospel Choir and we had an engagement at the Kellogg Center on campus. In the vestibule T-shirts were being sold for $15. One of them said “ASK” and had the Ask, Seek, Knock scripture on it.
Me being the smartie I can be at times put my hand on the shirt, closed my eyes and said “Lord, can I have this shirt for free?” When I opened my eyes the man at the table asked me “What size do you want?” I still have that free shirt today.
I pray that I never forget that moment because it was such a simple situation that reminds me that if there’s something I want from MY Father all I have to do is ask!
If there’s something you’re desiring, by faith, put your hand on it and ask.
I composed this post in 2012. Here I am two years after posting this the first time and nearly eight years after that moment and I’m still afraid to simply ask for what I want!
What is it about life that teaches us that asking is so bad? The worst that can happen is whoever we’re asking will tell us no. I’ve had innumerable experiences that have collectively shown me that rejection is not so bad and sometimes it’s actually good!
The hardest thing about being an emerging adult during the Great Recession is that it’s super hard to start a career. Millennials are the most college educated of any generation. Competition is everywhere. I have no idea how many jobs I’ve been turned down from and it’s even harder to know how many I never even received a call back from. What I’ve learned over the years since finishing my undergrad career is that it’s ok to be ambitious and it’s ok to be told no. Every opportunity is not a good opportunity and there’s often something better coming.
There’s nothing wrong with asking your Father for what you want. He doesn’t love you any less just because He tells you no. Accept the rejection and remember that He knows the end. And just like with my shirt, even though it may seem crazy, sometimes the answer is yes, but you won’t know that unless you’re crazy enough to ask!
I used to LOVE That’s So Raven! when I was in high school. I know I know I was too old to be watching a Disney Channel show but I still loved it. If you’ve never seen it, I’ll let you know that Raven is a psychic and she’s a teenager she would get these visions and she would stare off into space and she would see situation playing out. After seeing the vision she would make a disguise and figure out what she could do to prevent the situation from happening. Every time though, she would find out it only happened because she tried to prevent it. The visions that she was seeing were actually a result of her intervening when there really wasn’t a problem to begin with. It was hilarious every time because they end the same way time after time with the same lesson. If she didn’t try to prevent what she saw, the vision wouldn’t have manifested.
I thought about this today because I am a visionary of sorts. I see things and I imagine them and then after a while I just start dwelling on them and then if it is really interesting I talk about it all the time. I dream about the different things, I talk with all my friends or whoever’s around me, and I just keep building a scenario as I go along. Most of the time the scenarios are super far-fetched but to me they seem real. A lot of times, they end up coming into fruition. And when that happens I always think I definitely saw that coming. But when I think about Raven I start to wonder how many things in my life are a direct result of me saying them, thinking them and creating the scenario? How many things would not have come true had I not been speaking it, dreaming it, thinking it for days, months or years?
Raven was often the cause of her own turmoil. She could’ve had regular days as a teenager if she had a been comfortable seeing her visions but not acting on them. If she was able to see the future and just let it play out, she would’ve found out that things would’ve happened differently for her, but she wanted to change it so she intervened by using the insight that she had.
How many times do we use the information that we have to change our destinies believing that it’s making the future better, but in actuality we’re only causing ourselves unnecessary heartache?
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34 ESV)