Posted: January 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

The first Sunday of this year was “vision Sunday” at our church.  There was a lot of cool stuff, and then at the end, our pastor closed by encouraging us to “really get our hopes up about what God is doing in 2015.”

What would YOU like to really get your hopes up about?

It’s a bigger deal than it might seem, at first.

It can be HARD to get your hopes up.  Scary, even.

There are dangers.  You might get disappointed.  You might look like a naive fool.

Maybe you already got your hopes up about the same thing, over and over, only and always for the same failure.

Maybe someone will hear of your hope and tell you that, “Everyone knows that can’t happen.”  Maybe they will laugh or roll their eyes while they say it.  Maybe others will laugh along.

Maybe your part of hoping would require taking an action – stepping out in faith.  Maybe you’ll step out, and then you’ll fall.

Maybe you’ll ask God for something, and then it won’t come out the way you thought it would, and then you’ll be left wondering whether to blame yourself or doubt His goodness.

Maybe while you’re trying to work that question out, someone will tell you that you just didn’t believe strongly enough, or that you weren’t holy enough, or that you don’t even know how to interpret scripture.

It’s easy to silently play all these little possible movies in your head, when working up the nerve to hope.  It’s easy to acquiesce to them.  To play it safe.

“Hope is a dangerous thing,” protested a prisoner named Red, in my one of my all-time favorite movies/Stephen King short stories of all time, The Shawshank Redemption.  For Red, this was an argument in support of NOT hoping  Who among us does not understand Red’s argument?  Who among us has never been at least tempted to succumb to it?

But then comes Red’s friend Andy Dufresne, and teaches him about the wild and boundless power in hope.

So, what would I dare to get my hopes up about for 2015?

I could take the easy route.  I could think awhile about stuff at church and stuff at work and stuff in my marriage – all areas where things are mostly going swimmingly these days.  I could stand in the middle of those safe territories and write down goals that I can reasonably measure as possible, with some INTENTION and DISCIPLINE.  I could insist on only working from my strengths.

But that’s not hope.  That’s planning or maybe even inspiration, but it ain’t hope.

Instead, I’ll reach down for the ugliest, most raw and awful thing going on with me right now.  THAT is where hope is needed.  I don’t need to bring my pretty stuff to the feet of Jesus now – most of it is already there.  I need to bring the nastiest thing I have to Him, and then I need to invite Him to do whatever He will do.  Whatever.

Hope.  My battle with my current arch enemy, my body.  That’s what needs hope.  I can’t fix it, from where I’ve been standing.  Years’ worth of hard work has been undone in the past year or two.  I’ve gone backward physically, backward in my choices, and way, way backward in my attitudes.

It’s hard to hope.  I’ve lost the same darn 50 or so pounds so many times, only to find them again.  I’ve worked fantastic eating plans, and then not so much.  I’ve developed workout routines that brought me joy and shaped my body, and currently am almost completely sidelined by the pain in my feet.  That nasty little encounter with the ladies at work who walked behind me saying words they surely didn’t imagine I could hear has taken away my joy and most of my courage in sharing the attempt – I kind of want to do it in secret, unnoticed, undiscussed, invisible.

But hiding isn’t a thing that has ever worked good results in my life.

I guess it’s time to hope again, for a healthy body and, much more important, a healthy relationship with that body.

I don’t know how to begin.  Except that the deciding has to be the first.  No big plans to announce here.

Only:  I will reach for hope.

  1. Cindy Maynard says:

    Good for you Sister!! Don’t let those ladies or Satan win! Rebuke him. And press on toward the goal of having a healthy relationship in this area with the Lord. You can do it. But moreover, GOD CAN DO IT!! Call on His POWER AND MIGHT!

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