Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hopeful New Year

Sometimes, when I start writing a blog, I know exactly what I'm going to write about.  Sometimes I've already written a couple of different versions of the blog in my head, or maybe even written part/all of it down on paper.  Then there's other times that I come to a blog without even knowing what I'm going to say, and sometimes the spontaneous blogs turn out to be better than the ones I'd planned.

I started writing this blog, and the blankness of the "page" caught my attention.  It's a blank page, just waiting for someone to write on it.  Sometimes it seems a shame to write on something so clean, especially when I know my words are often far from perfect.  But there's great power in words, and clean pages are useless.  It's only when we write our words, our meanings on them, that they take meaning. 

Unless this is the first time you've actually read my blog (keep reading--that would be an EXCELLENT New Year's Resolution), then you have probably read that my "Word for the Year" is Hope.  I've been harping on about it for a while, because my calendar is a little different from the real calendar.  My new year starts at the beginning of the Christmas season, which on my calendar, starts somewhere near the middle-to-end of August.  I've known that 2012 was going to be a Hopeful year since mid-to-late August. 

I've already written a lot about Hope, but sometimes even I don't really understand it.  Hope still scares me, because Hope makes one vulnerable.  If you Hope for something, then you haven't received it yet.  True Hope isn't the same as hoping for nice weather or hoping you'll find a good job.  We have no promise of those things.  True Hope is believing that something that God has promised will come. 

The tricky thing is, most of the things that God has promised don't even pertain to this life.  He hasn't promised that I'm going to get a cushy job with health insurance benefits.  He hasn't promised that I'm going to find a literary agent or land a book contract.  He hasn't promised that I'm going to amass a huge, successful following on my blogs, or that I'm going to pay off all my debt this year, or that I'm going to meet some rich guitarist with a Scottish accent to sweep me off my feet.  He hasn't promised me good health or secure finances or a stress-free life.  I can hope for these things and be crushed every time.  That's what makes hope vulnerable. 

True Hope is also vulnerable, because it involves trusting Someone besides self.  It involves trusting God that no matter what happens, even if I lose my health, my job(s), my home, my friends, my family, or even my own life, He has still promised good to me. 

Jesus promised that if we seek God and His Kingdom first, all that we need will be added to us.  My problem is that I think I need a lot more than I actually do need.  Most of the things I need are actually just "in order tos."  I need a job in order to feel successful and financially secure.  I need writing in order to feel purposeful.  I need friends in order to feel loved.  I need a roof over my head in order to feel comfortable.  I need food in order to fill my hunger.  I need water in order to satisfy my thirst.  I need air in order to breathe.

I'm not making light of the fact that we all need some basic stuff in order to live.  It's just that when you strip away all the "in order tos," and get right down to what we need--not "in order to," but just because we need...

We need a Savior.   

One has been provided.  God Himself.

That's where my Hope lies. 

This is my song for 2012.

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace, as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." --Romans 15:13

Hopeful New Year!

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