Something God has been bringing to my attention lately is hope. I have forgotten to hope. Or I guess, better yet, inadvertently trained myself to not hope. There’s been a few things recently that I thought God was doing. I was so certain I was in tune with Him, but I was wrong. I had missed the point and lemme tell ya…not so fun. Actually fairly sucky. I think through God working in all of this, I have seen a whole new side of Him.
Let me tell you a little something about God. He is a dynamic dude. Through all of this, I’ve seen just how intimately God knows me and my heart and how He has held my heart so gently and placed me specifically where I am to go through all of this. Another side of this incredibly tender, loving God is a God who has humbled me these last few months. Any ounce of pride or “I got this” attitude has been wrecked. Like spotlighted then obliterated by God. Again, not so fun, but so necessary. Through all of this, I’m learning to get back to basics, back to the Rachel God intends for me to be.
Towards the end of college, I think I had so many ideas and things I though would be cool, I got wrapped up in these ideas and fake dreams that I got so tangled up and had no idea what I wanted to do. Thankfully, God provided means for me to have this season of life to unravel a bit. It’s so easy to get blindsided and distracted…
These jobs and places to go became fake dreams–things I thought would be really cool to try and experience, but not something that I was uniquely supposed to partake it. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with any of these, they are actually all really good things, just not good things for me. They became bad things, and I think idols. I looked to them and made reasoning to God how awesome they were and how I could share Him through them. I missed the whole point. Along the way in this, I lost sight of where God wants me. I lost sight of true dreams. To sum it up, I just lost sight of truth. I got so bogged down, and “poor me, “what am I going to do”, that I belittled Jesus so much. I had this terrible attitude and approach to life. Jesus died to give me this life. He died so I could have a relationship with God. He died for so much more than for me to play this victim twentysomething who has no direction. I have a direction: the cross. That’s my direction. Return to it, time and again, and let God take it from there. Something so simple and powerful, I managed to muck up pretty good.
Anyway, back to the point of all of this: hope. While my world seemed to be crumbling around me, I figured out hope was what I was missing. I think as American Christians we say “your will God”, but don’t really mean it. Not truly. We say that, but then we expect the worst. We don’t anticipate the best, we don’t expect a miracle or the greatest possible outcome. We expect the worst or nothing to prematurely soften whatever blow we think might come. Yall!!! Why??? Why do we do this to ourselves? That is not how God wants us to live. Like seriously. God-perfect, holy, creator of the universe, creator of us, creator of life-loved us so much, knowing that we would fall into sin so hugely, made a way for us to still have a relationship with Him and known His love and have the ability to spend eternity with Him, by sending His perfect, holy son to die an undeserved death to cover our epic sin with His even more epic grace. If this is true, and we state that we believe it and want to follow Jesus with every ounce of our being and share His name with the world…WHY ARE WE LIVING LIKE THIS?! We have the greatest hope that could ever be. We have Jesus. We have the hope of knowing (not just optimistically wishing) that the war is already won. We have a valid hope. We can charge into this battle of life valiantly, knowing Jesus. That is so much reason for hope its insane!
For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37
#boom. Jesus induced mic drop.
I was recently reading through Mark and something I noticed was the repeated use of the word “immediately.” It’s used roughly twenty times. Jesus is immediate. He may not work in how we think He’s going to work immediately, but He doesn’t just put things on hold and kick back in heaven watching Netflix avoiding the world. No, He’moving. You can’t see behind the scenes things most of time, because well…they are behind the scenes, but Jesus is Lord of those and using them. He is working immediately. Yet another reason to hope! Jesus is moving and moving immediately.
On a grand scheme of things level, with the state of the world, it pains me how much we have lost hope. I have been so convicted by this. With everything going on, we all feel this weird need to form these big opinions and ideas about how to fix this when it’s so much bigger than us and what our human brains could think up. Everything right now can only be fixed by Jesus. God has hit me so hard with this. Spreading the gospel, the love of Jesus and hoping in the truth of the cross is imperative and a necessity. On a personal level, I’ve changed myself and tried to make myself fit these fake dreams and this image I thought I should be striving for. I’ve lost sight of the truth that God has a plan specifically and uniquely designed for me. I can hope, knowing that I may not know where God is taking, but the HE is taking me, and that is enough. I can prayerfully pursue real dreams put in place by God and my heart with unwavering faith.
Things personally may be crumbling. God may be tearing down walls within you, and I pray that He is because that if often where true intimacy with Him derives from. The world may be crumbling in multiple ways. You may be standing amongst rubble, whether big or small, but there is hope in the rubble. There is hope because of Jesus. There is something to believe in and have faith in. The rubble is broken and in pieces, but Jesus is solid. Jesus is truth. God knows the rubble you find yourself in the middle of and has sent His Son to meet you right there in the middle of that rubble to help you navigate your way out through the amazing power of the Holy Spirit. For now, we have the Holy Spirit, but one day Jesus will return (whoop whoop!!!!)
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14: 26-27
But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Life is ever changing, but Jesus is coming and God is on His throne. Find hope in that, be it the big things or little things in life!