Thursday, August 21, 2008

Looking Hopeful

For who hopes for
what he sees?

Romans 8:24c

Many children aren’t hopeful, they’re expectant. Eating, bathing, napping, playing all become what they expect during a day. There are exceptions but the truth is that all children should be able to live expectantly. Hope shouldn’t necessarily be a part of their lives, because they should be able to see what they expect.

We were once expectant children, but age faded its brilliance as we discovered that eventually life offers up numerous unrealized expectations. Gradually we recognize that what we expect is not always what we see. Our expectations become diminished and we begin using the language of hope—I hope I get that promotion. I hope I get accepted into college. I hope my doctor’s appointment goes well. There is much that we do not see, and yet we remain hopeful.

Being a Jesus follower demands huge amounts of hope. A commitment to Jesus is based on faith in what can’t be seen. The Trinity is not a visual reality, but it is a hopeful one. And as with so much of the other “stuff” in our lives that can’t be seen, but for which we are hopeful, we begin to appreciate that we can believe and hope in something that we don’t necessarily “see.”

It takes work to be hopeful. It’s so much easier to make plans, set agendas, organizing one’s life in such a way that we expect to get certain results. Living a hopeful life is edgy and absolutely crazy. But, one day hope will bring what can’t been seen into focus—the Kingdom of Heaven.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit
I want to be able to see You,
hear You, feel You.
Help me to know You
in a way that is hopeful, expecting
that one day all will be seen.

Artwork--Jan Brueghel the Younger. Paradise. c. 1620

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