Romans 12:12 – Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Hope seems to be a recurring theme around my life in the last few months and something I’m learning more and more about. Driving to the doctor today, it dawned on me just how beautiful hope could be, especially in those areas in your life where you have no control but have to give authority to God the Father. Our hope should always be first and foremost in the Lord and his purpose and will for our lives. Which can be a challenge for us all, because we all have hopes in things of this world—for more money, for a nicer car or home, for a nice retirement—the list can be lengthy. How often do you stop and ask whether the next purchase or the next thing you do is really something God wants … or is it something your flesh desires.
John Piper wrote, “So Christian hope is a strong confidence in God which has power to produce changes in how we live.”
At some point over the last couple years I began to associate hope with loss, or maybe more aptly put, I lost all hope. Not hope in God, but hope in a personal dream. Hope that I would ever get pregnant. And I believe this translated into a loss and also at some points in time a failure to be joyful in hope through him. I began to see hope more as a weakness, and it is not. Hope is beautiful as long as our hope remains in Christ.
At some point, I think my hope for biological children could have gotten in the way of God’s plan to build our family through adoption. My personal desires, or worldly desires, blinded me to God’s desires. Through trials and tribulations we are able to grown, but today I wondered if my relationship with God would have be better today if I had been more accepting of our infertility.
Today, I was reading back from a blog post in September 2007. After spending about $15,000 in infertility treatments, this is what I wrote: “I’m just hoping a miracle happens and we find a wonderful child that we are able to adopt for no fee or a very small fee.”
And this is exactly what God gave us, not just once, but twice over! Both of our children were adopted at absolutely no cost to us. In fact, not only is adoption through the state free, but there are many benefits as well. (For a listing of benefits go to my page on Foster Care & Adoption)
With such a direct answer to my desires and prayers, I feel amiss to say it’s only now that I’m beginning to understand hope and having full assurance in hope that God will do us good. While I want to follow God’s will for my life, I had failed to understand how this correlates with hope.
Proverbs tells us, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12)
My heart was indeed sick, but now that my longing was fulfilled by God’s plan and not my own I feel like I’ve been given a tree of life. And the tree of life I envision in my mind is just a sapling that is growing; growing into a magnificent oak with huge encompassing branches that will stretch out into the world, and it will grow as God intends and as God builds our family in his timing and in his way.
I am truly just beginning to realize just how beautiful hope in Christ can be. Hope should never be lost.