Do we have hope?

I may have stuck my tongue out to draw the legs in the right direction. I felt five and happy.

What is this thing I call my faith?

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

I know I’ve spent some good Christian years in the shadows, and I’m recognizing in so many the leanings toward despair. I’ve only just now made the correlation of faith to hope, how we can be so sure of those invisible things that we keep on trucking, that we hold tight to faith even when it seems nothing good comes of it.

I often want to hang on to the day instead, steer it like a mule. I want control, want to cling to my boys as if they aren’t souls and to my marriage as if its vow made us of tangible stone. I want a detailed outline to the story of my life and to the books I’ll write and to see modified behavior based on humankind’s loyalty. It doesn’t work that way.

For now we only have the elements, the bread and the wine, but we don’t yet have the table with Jesus. For now I close my eyes and drink him down, wish I had a bottle, and then I lean back on my sister. Lindsey knows enough to cut me deep, but she holds me up instead. She’s an element of hope. But I do not put my hope in community, church.

Often I think the things that give us reason to boast are the things on which we hope - our community, the gatherings, the creativity, and the blessings.

Recently our conviction has been to not put our hope or boasting even in the happiness that comes with servitude. I don’t hope in my boys’ maturity or that I’ll grow old and swing on a sun-shaded porch with Seth. I do not hope to write a book that people will actually read. If any of these or other great, not-yet things come to happen, they will merely be the elements of hope, little reminders of our real life to come.

I put my hope in Jesus Christ, for His horse to come strong, for drink at His table, my mouth at His feet, His singing voice in my ear. My cup will run over, and when it does I’ll laugh with real vocal cords, and there may even be dogs there swishing their tails (if there’s a horse, you know?).

I’m going to go meet my lost babies and Eliot and C.S.Lewis, and I’m going to see Aunt Dot and my Mamaw and admire the design with Grandma Mouk (how happy she is right now), because I know they are in Jesus. And in Jesus, we’ll be known with our real names as we really really are, just as He’ll be fully known. There will be no looking through a glass darkly. It’s possible there will be no untuned pianos, no horrible organs, and no old people with hitches in their giddy-ups, but I’m not sure.

It’s all we really want, the only reasoning we have to meet together or to do a good deed or to drive out fear or negative expectations or despair; all we’re really wanting is to be in Him, to be (enveloped by) His glory. And “hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5).

To be a Christian is to have HOPE.

“Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise.

At present we are on the outside… the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the pleasures we see. But all the pages of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so. Someday, God willing, we shall get “in”… We will put on glory… that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch.

We do not want to merely “see” beauty–though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words–to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it.”                  

–  C.S. Lewis

 

Comments

  1. Good glory. Yes, please!
    (We’re having a baby soon – Hope is the middle name we’ve chosen if it’s a girl).
    Rae recently posted..Synthesis

  2. Reminded me of Colossians (memory with Ann V. last year). That we should do this very thing …. “reveal the mystery…which is Christ in you, the HOPE of glory.” He works powerfully within you, too! It will be worth it all when we see Jesus!

  3. Yes! to this: “all we’re really wanting is to be in Him, to be (enveloped by) His glory. And “hope does not disappoint” (Romans 5:5).” I’ve been memorizing Romans 5 while on the eliptical, and that last little gem catches my breath every time. Every. Time. (especially during a time of depression for me) And the whole truth of hope has become magnified beyond measure, pressed down, shaken together, overflowing. All we really want indeed, my friend! Thanks for another encouraging post.
    Beth recently posted..Free Fall

  4. Sixty-five years of living nod in absolute agreement Amber. Thank you for always being so real and in the process encouraging so many. And thank you too for the C.S. Lewis. Oh my…
    Linda recently posted..He Knows

  5. I know the truth and all… but I still hope for a sun-shaded porch swing with you one day.

  6. I want the white stone, with a new name on it, known only to the one who receives it.
    Jennifer@GDWJ recently posted..God-Bumps: Dirty Fingernails

  7. Beauty and Truth. But I am not surprised because that is exactly what I find when I come here. Thank you for both. And to find C.S. Lewis in the mix today is an added bonus. A fave.
    Elizabeth recently posted..Celebrating, Cheering, Rejoicing —Life (With Words, Always)

  8. Thank you, Amber. That C.S. Lewis quote makes me want to weep.
    Grateful for your gifts and that you share them.
    Kit recently posted..Oh yeah, it’s Thursday!

  9. I try to “steer my days like a mule” too, Amber. Your words here speak such truth to my heart this morning. To be “in Him”. . that is everything.
    I need to let go of my reins. I know I’ve said that before, so why do I keep picking them up?
    And the CS Lewis quote. . yes, to move beyond just *seeing* beauty. To be united with Beauty.
    Heaven.
    Love to you this morning Amber. Your words inspire me.
    Danelle recently posted..Reflection

  10. Beautiful. Here’s to real vocal cords one day.

  11. I spoke about Hope at a gathering this weekend, and when I choose the topic, I thought it would be light and encouraging and, well, hopeful. I didn’t expect the direction I ended up taking, but as I dug into scripture and my own heart, I came back to the truth that hope is most tangible against the backdrop of longing, the reality of grief, the heaviness of loss.
 I wish I had read your words first: “All we’re really wanting is to be in Him, to be (enveloped by) His glory.” Thank you, Amber. This is the heart of it, really. Thanks for these words to mull on & soak in today.
    Annie recently posted..Hope Springs Eternal

  12. This concept of HOPE is a tricky one to hold onto. But eventually, we will come to see that we have nothing else. No other choice but to hope.
    The only firm foundation to out out hope is in the one who will never let us down.
    Kelsey recently posted..On Forgiveness

  13. This is beautiful.
    Sometimes, I have been guilty of putting too much hope in community. And then, I’ve struggled when I wasn’t met where I needed to be met- in only the way that God can meet me.
    On the flip side, I cannot always be everything that others want (hope) for me to be.
    Jane Anne recently posted..Eleven (TTT #181)

  14. I’ve been way too guilty of placing my hope in earthly stuff- stuff I can (sorta) control, people who will be there for me….and yet always coming up empty and weary. Thanks for the reminder that God is my only hope, and that this life isn’t the end…..
    Breanne recently posted..Pastries and Proscuitto: the First Picnic of the Year

  15. Beautiful post and what an encouragement! To see Him face to face, no more tears, no more pain. I am eagerly waiting for “Forever”!!!
    Jody recently posted..A to Z Challenge: W is Overcoming requires Wisdom

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