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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Are you hoping in God or for God?

 Be the change you want to see in the world.--Mahatma Ghandi

Reading the Christmas story, reminds me of secret longings kept in my heart. I imagine Mary's secret longings. And Elizabeth's. Surely they longed for their boys to be given special treatment. The chosen ones’ proper places. For God’s favor to be evident to the Jewish nation. For abundance and blessing and ease to blanket parts of their lives. They were regular women. Chosen by God. Praying like mothers and wives and daughters and friends. Like me. Like you.

I just told a group of friends that I’m not sure if I’m hoping in God anymore. Lately I find myself hoping for God to do something as evidence of His answer. Which translates to placing my hope in man, I think. Anywho, the truth is if I look anywhere but to God, at God--even if it’s for God, it’s putting my hope somewhere else.

So do I quit praying for lives I want to look like Jesus? Do I  quit asking for Him to save the lost and capture the gaze of the broken? No. Not at all. 

I pray. I seek God. I long for His face. His presence. His touch to my heart.

This way I will never be disappointed. Scripture says, “Those who hope in God will never be disappointed.” (Isaiah 49:23)

Hoping in God requires faith, which by its very definition is believing that which is unseen. Like, Mary who stores God’s messages and evidences in her heart to ponder until her Son is crowned King of Kings. What a proud day that will be! Yes, I said will be. Read Hebrews 11:39-40 (I'll talk about this more later.) says the great men and women of faith died without seeing their blessings, God’s promises fulfilled. Because they waited. They lived. They learned.

Like Mary, I’m learning in hard situations. I’m living happy and whole in places that have never and may never change. 

I’m learning the blessing has less to do with things around me and more to do with things in me. (Tweet that)

In the Living Bible Mary thanks God for what He has done to her. Not for her. To her. "Oh how I praise the Lord...For he has done great things to me."(Luke 1:46&49)

I’ll just be honest. It’s painful and disappointing and faith-assaulting to pray the same prayer and get the same results (ie none) day after day, year after year.

I’m tired of crying. Tired of hurting. Tired of being disappointed.

I pray with hope keeping eyes fixed on His Word, His presence, His touch and all He does to me. I pray longing for God yet hoping in God. I take refuge in His presence and under His touch. 

I find peace and joy watching not what God does for me but to me. 

I can be the change I wish to see in others.



2 comments:

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Merry Christmas.

Fondly,
Glenda

Anita said...

I think many of us struggle with knowing how to have the "right" relationship with God. As I've gotten older, I've realized that my relationship with Him has changed several times, as it has with my husband, children, parents, sibling, and so on. Being "human" is all we know how to be. I continue to trust God and ask for His guidance, even when I border on feeling that I don't deserve His Goodness. Notice that I said "border." :) God loves us as we love "our" children.

Happy New Year, Lisa, to you and your family.