Day Twenty-Seven: How Did You Get That?

One of the difficult things for me, about exploring hope this month is that I know it is a gift. It isn’t a result of some formulaic process. Through this month of reading, researching, and passing on what I have found. I have not yet found the miracle way to create and grow hope in any circumstance.

31 Days of Relishing Hope

I’ve felt a little like the kid at school, the first day back from Christmas break. Remember? Everyone would talk about what they did and what they got. Inevitably, there was the kid who would say, “Lucky! How did you get that?” How do you answer that confusing question?

It’s confusing, because getting that special gift has less to do with “how” than it has to do with “who.” Who gave it to you? Do you think they would give me one too?

I would love to tell you who gives me hope. He has endless supplies of it and would love to give you some too. His name is Jesus. Maybe you already know him, but find yourself needing a little hope-pick-me-up. Tell him about it. Take a little time out of your day to pour out your hopes and fears to him. Like any good relationship, you’ll need to be as honest and real as you can be. He can take it. If you’re angry, let him know that. If you’re hurting, tell him. If you find yourself doing something you know is wrong and will ultimately hurt you, tell him about that too.

The real truth about lasting hope is that it comes out of intimacy with Jesus. I can share the ways that he has helped me foster hope in my life, or you could get started figuring out your own ways with him today. I’m not going to sugar coat it. Most of the times that I go running to Jesus asking for hope, He gently points out how I’ve got the wrong focus. He shows me how the thing I’ve put my hope in is not him, and will ultimately let me down. He usually reminds me that he can give me that thing, but it will probably disappoint me. Yet, there is this thing in the intimate walk with Jesus that is so inspiring and full of hope!

31 Days of Relishing Hope

When we have cleared out all the stuff that wants to come between us. When I have listened and accepted his gentle correction. We are in that sweet communion. And he says, “Hey, do you want to come and do this thing with me today? Come with me.” I want to tell you that I then find myself doing things I never thought I could, and going to places I never would have imagined, and that is true. But the hope doesn’t come out of successes, or adventures, or even fun surprises. The hope comes out of the closeness to Jesus. And that, you can enjoy today!

31 Days of Relishing Hope

This is day twenty-seven of a thirty-one day series on Relishing Hope. You can find all the other posts here.

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My favorite time of year and the voices in my head

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We are coming upon my favorite time of year, Lent. It feels like such an odd thing to say. To acknowledge that I look forward to forty days of sitting with the suffering and hardship that my savior went through. But, I do.

I love purposefully stripping away the things that distract me. To put small comforts aside, and remember. This is my listening time of year. 

I’m not always the greatest listener. I rush around and act like my agenda is so important, often racing against my own self. If you could get inside my head while I’m in “the zone,” as my family calls it. You’d hear ridiculous things like, “Finish this task, that task, then you can go to the bathroom.” or “If you do those three things, you can have another cup of coffee.” 

This competition with time fills my head with a busy conversation, that spirals deeper and deeper into self-centeredness. A child asks for help and I’m wondering why they are interrupting the voice in my head. Can’t you hear that I must put two loads of laundry in the washer before I can stop to put my sweatshirt on? 

I realize how crazy I sound. Your inner voice is probably a lot calmer. Your rewards are probably more exciting than sweatshirts and cups of coffee. But, don’t we all have versions of this? All the things we put on ourselves and then elevate to emergency status. 

During Lent, I feel permission to quiet the racing voice. She’s still there, and she makes crazy demands sometimes, but I just turn down her volume.  It is not her agenda I’m interested in.

I would love to stay in this listening place all year ’round, but I’m human. I get tired of contending with the things of this life. They crowd in, closer and closer. So close that they get a voice in my head, and let’s be real, a place in my heart. 

But, Lent is 40 days. 40 out of 365. That sounds doable. Will I fail? Yes. Will I put my own ridiculous agenda before my Lord’s? Yes. Will I get prideful when I do it right? Of course. 

But, every year as I commit to do these days with Jesus. He meets me there. Without fail, these are the sweetest of days. They are still full of all the annoying things of life that need to get done, but my perspective shifts. I’m aware of the company I keep. 

How about you? Do you celebrate Lent? What does Lent look like for you?