HOPE: The Anchor to my “Prone to Wander” Heart

It’s funny how things change…

It’s funny that I use “funny” as synonymous with “cool” and “interesting”. Mostly because I can’t think of a word to appropriately describe how mind-blowing it is that life changes, through highs and lows, and it’s always for our good. I think of how even in moments of my wildest imagination (and believe me, it’s wild!), I couldn’t have engineered or orchestrated this life. I couldn’t have mapped out the people, places, and experiences (the joyful & the painful) that have contributed to who I am and how my heart has grown and still needs to grow.

I catch myself thinking “so much has changed in the last couple of months” but then I think about how much it’s changed in the last year, how much it’s changed in the last several years, and before I know it, my mind takes me through the memories of my life and it’s there that I realize that everything is always changing.

Life is always rapidly changing. We’re forced to grow, to learn, to practice what was built in the last season and implement it in the next. We’re given opportunity after opportunity to pass or fail a test of heart and no matter the outcome, we’re met with an overwhelming, incomprehensible measure of grace that makes everything new so we can move forward to do it all over again.

It’s there that I see the kindness and the mercy of God and his goodness in all of my “passing” and “failing”. It’s there that I see a great love for me that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. This love gives way to freedom that is rich in compassion and patience for me to learn and grow…that Jesus might get his full reward in me.

For I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.

There’s a provision of heart in both the trials and ease of life that enables us to persevere so that, through our learning, through our enduring, through our abiding and remaining, God might be glorified.

This is good news for me that God, who is committed to his glory being made known in my heart and throughout the earth, is also committed to sustaining and providing for me in my weakness so that his purposes would be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven.

For even when I’m faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself.

So it’s in that context of faithful provision, committed leadership, unfailing love and mercy, that I’m able to grow and learn amidst changing circumstances so that my heart would be alive and full, giving glory to the one who breathes life into and sustains all things according to his will.

Just knowing this, even the little glimpse I’ve encountered of this truth, fills me with so much peace. To know that the God who wrote all of my days in a book before I was even born knows exactly what to do, what will happen, and how to engineer my life so that I might learn and grow and love well.

I rest in the knowledge of the truth that he is working all things for my good. Even the suffering.

But then I think about all of the “what ifs”.
“What if I would’ve done this differently?”
“What if I would’ve been more purposeful in building a relationship with that person I knew the Lord put into my path?”
“What if I would’ve chosen that direction in my education/career over this?”

My mind spins like a bright and spastic hamster wheel as I let myself wander throughout all of the questions I have about what “could’ve been” and how the choices I made (or the choices I didn’t make) impacted the outcome of my life. The longer and faster the wheel spins, the more the anxiety builds, and the hopelessness increases.

I’ve encountered this spinning wheel and it’s detrimental effect on my heart in more than just the area of “what could’ve been” but also in the area of “what could be”.
“What happens when…”
“What if this falls through…”
“What if I never…”

I’ve learned that this wheel’s name is Fear, whose activity is in direct opposition to Faith and Trust. Thankfully, I’ve also learned that the wheel stops and my heart is at rest when I remember and agree with the truth of the sovereignty of God. My failures, my fears, my success, my ambition, no, not even my suffering and my inability to suffer well, is too powerful to upset the plans and purposes of God; plans and purposes he had before I was even born. He will always have his way and his way is always good and my heart can rest in that truth.

I’m learning that the only way I can joyfully & peacefully rest and overflow with confident HOPE, no matter what changes come my way (and come, they will!), is to TRUST. Trust in his goodness, his kindness, his mercy, his patience, his omnipotence, his sovereignty, his faithfulness, his ability to lead me and guide me on paths that I do not know, turning the darkness before me into light and the rough places ahead of me into level ground.

This trust in this truth is like water in the desert, provision for my heart in my weakness, that enables me to persevere and grow in the safety of this covenant relationship with one who is always faithful, never gives up and never abandons me in my failures.  A life-giving covenant relationship that was made possible for me by Jesus who endured the wrath I deserved so that my learning and growing could be wrath-free, for my good and abounding in only LOVE from a kind and gracious Father. A covenant that is the sure and steadfast anchor of my soul, giving me strong encouragement as I trust in him as my refuge and place of safety where he will gently have his way in me throughout the changes and uncertainty that life brings.

 

This is my hope.
He is GOOD.

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