I love how the new year brings with it an automatic dose of optimism. The whole world breathes a collective sigh of relief that, “Yes, this year will be better than the last.” It’s a time of looking ahead, of making plans, and going after new dreams. It feels like hope.
But I’m curious what holds me back. Because even as I sit here at my desk, with piles of to-do lists filled with things I can be working on—all of which will be very beneficial to me—I find myself more often than not paralyzed. A writer’s block, of sorts. It’s a feeling that my phone must have right before it completely loses its charge. The gas tank is nearing E, and the sputtering is so deafening I think I’m gonna take a nap.
It all comes down to where I place my hope.
Hope misplaced leads to disappointment, anger, cynicism, depression…paralysis. Life has taught me I can’t put my hope in anyone or anything. But I keep forgetting that. I’m not going to become a pessimist, I’m just choosing to remember that my true hope and treasure can only come from God, and from no one or no where else. “Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God,“ Psalm 146:5.
To me, hope is a result of trusting God. I trust that God loves me more than I can even imagine. And I also trust that God is with me, and is going before me making a way—even where there seems to be no way. This makes the dry soil of my tired heart into fertile ground for ever-blossoming hope.
It’s not up to me to make all my goals and dreams happen. I have my thoughts on how I’d like things to go and I’m not letting go of them. But I’m going to direct them to God in prayer, submitting them to His better judgment for how things should go. And I’m going to trust what God tells me in Isaiah 41:10 – “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
I believe that no matter what your circumstances are, this is a time for hope. I’m banking my life on it.
- On January 9, 2017