Monday, November 29, 2010

Castles of Air

When I first read the topic I thought, Castles of Air? What am I going to do with that? Who thought of that one, and what were they thinking? Well, Becky owned up to the topic. She said she had something in mind when she suggested it, but I’d have to wait to read her post to find out what it is. I’m still waiting for Becky to write, which means I’m left to figure out this “Castles of Air” thing on my own.

Through some twisting, convoluted thought path I somehow connected Castles of Air with the topic of Hope. Which brings us to the Facebook poll, “What hope of yours has been fulfilled this year?”

It’s such a peaceful feeling to reflect upon hopes that have been fulfilled over the past year. Justice being realized. First-time home ownership. Loved ones by our side. Being employed in this volatile economic climate. Going through the struggles and living to tell about it. Yes, when hopes have been fulfilled, life has a sense of completeness. Life makes sense.

I wish I could say that life for everyone I know has that sense of completeness, but it is not so. Businesses close down and jobs are lost. Justice sometimes seems unfair and wrong. Home becomes a place that doesn’t feel like home and families are broken apart. Loved ones die, sometimes suddenly. Promises are broken and trust is shattered. We may even feel despair. The puzzle pieces of your life don’t seem to make the beautiful picture it ought to. Like Castles of Air, life does not make sense.

Which brings us back to hope. Sometimes when you are in the midst of despair, when pieces don’t appear to be of the same puzzle, let alone fit, hope does not make sense. God doesn’t even make sense.

Not long ago I was asked to pray for a family in crisis. I found myself asking, “God, do you know what you are doing?” Nothing made sense. Yet the family believed God is still sovereign, and crying out in desperation to God was all they had left.

Was this family’s hope fulfilled? Tragically, no. Stunned and in shock, they were violently thrust into the vortex of grief, where nothing makes sense, and they wonder if anything ever will again.

While we're not making sense, let's go back to fulfilled hopes. When a hope is fulfilled, it often comes after  some struggle or some degree of heartache. Somewhere during the process there is a part of you that wonders at the logic – or lack of logic – of it all. Doubt threatens to extinguish faith. Grief’s cacophony seems to be an endless torment. But still there is hope.

Hope is independent of the apparatus of logic. It doesn’t have to make sense.
Hope puts faith to work when doubting would be easier.
Hope is grief’s best music. The torment does not have to prevail forever.

While it may seem wonderful if every hope we ever had were fulfilled the way we want it, would we really want it that way? That’s another way of saying Be careful what you hope for.

God does not have to always make sense to us. If He did, we would have no need for faith. God has made sense to us before, when things turned out alright for us. Although we are now uncertain about our circumstances, our hope and faith assure us that God will work our circumstances to make sense to us at a time to come in the future.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Hope is one of those things you cannot do without. Having hope will give you courage. Hang in there. Even if it doesn’t make sense.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Thanking God for hope!