Week Three - Hope
"Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, And how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?" Job 26:14"
When I think about hope I think of looking beyond a situation to what might be in store. It can be seeing beyond the present to the promises of God and believing and hoping in Him.
When I was just out of college my first teaching position was in Sequatchie County, Tennessee in a little school nestled beneath the edge of Signal Mountain. The drive there from Chattanooga each day was long but it was such a beautiful drive it allowed me time to reflect and notice all the spectacular things God was doing in nature. One day I noticed that high upon a cliff overlooking the beautiful Tennessee River Gorge a house was being built. From my vantage point below, it seemed it sat on the very edge of that cliff and I wondered at the bravery of having a house built teetering on the edge of a cliff. Regardless of the beauty below I would not want to slide down into it from all those feet above. I took the time one afternoon to drive over and see it up close. What I found was there was some space between the house and the cliff’s precarious edge but hardly enough to even call a yard. It was clear the house was to be grand. I looked at it and the view and I was hooked. I went by at least weekly to see the progress. I lurked around when it was time for the workers to go home so I could get a closer look. I kept telling one of my best friends, “One day I will have dinner in that house”. It was a joke between us because it was evident these folks did not run in the same circles as I did but it was a nice dream. One evening when the house was moving nicely toward completion, the walls and some windows in…flooring, fixtures and doors not in…my friend and I took a picnic meal and headed toward the house. Because there were no doors I felt fairly sure that a breaking and entering charge would not stick…entering maybe but certainly not breaking. We ate dinner on the subflooring beneath the supports that were most certainly made to hold an opulent chandelier. The windows in the great room were two stories high and on the second floor above the spot prepared for a huge garden tub were massive windows. I thought, “Why would you put windows above your tub but as I looked out at the wooded mountains and their beauty and realized that the only way to get a good look into this window was a helicopter, I thought, “Why wouldn’t you?”
This house was unfinished and yet its future splendor showed through so magnificently it was if I was seeing the finished product. The truth was I was only seeing the mere edges of its greatness. I would not get a look at the finished fireplace or the shiny fixtures. I would never see it painted or floored. It was only a whisper but a whisper that made me long to see more.
When I look at our students at The Bridge of Georgia, I realize that we are only seeing a whisper of what they are capable of being. The purpose and plan God has for their life is only just beginning to unfold and I find in myself an eagerness and a yearning to see all they will become. I am so very glad our God is a God of hope!
This verse today made me think of that little adventure that I had not thought about in many years. We praise God for His power. We are blessed by the things He does in our lives but how small a whisper it is compared to the thunder of His awesome true power. We see only a bit of how He is working and sometimes we don’t like the way it all looks but that is because we are not seeing the big picture. In His thunderous, mighty way He is working to make something amazing and wonderful and designed by Him, whether it is in your career, your personal life, or the life of your precious child. When we give Him our lives and the freedom to do as He will, we have the opportunity to grow in our faith and to hope in the One who will never let us down. This season, look at what God is doing in your life. If it looks dismal, start looking for the ways God might be working through your situation to show the thunder of His power. Trust in Him, although you only see a small whisper…the mere edges of His ways and never lose hope in Him.
Think of something your family really would like to do or have. Maybe it is a game you have wanted to play together. Perhaps it is a special overnight trip. Maybe it is tickets to a game. Decide as a family what that item will be. Set aside a jar or a vase or some other container that can be in a visible place and throw your change in the jar. Periodically count and roll the coins as a family. You will find that it is a very different thing to wait for something special and save for it together as a family project than just to receive it without any effort. It is a good picture of waiting for special things.