Friday, January 13, 2012

No Doubt About It.

"And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us," (Romans 5:5).

This verse was highlighted in my Bible. I've read it countless times. I mean, I've read it, but never really seen it. I think the trouble is, I also have the previous four verses highlighted, and by the time I get to this one, my mind is so full of other things--all those God-words like faith and rejoice and glory and sufferings that we tend to hurriedly glance over, downing the glass of milk so quickly we can't even remember what it tastes like--so full of these words my brain has sloppily connected into semi-cohesiveness, that by the time I reach verse five I am barely making any sense of the words at all.

Which would be fine and dandy, except for the one problem that occurs when you're not paying attention when God is speaking: I've been missing out on an incredible truth.

The reason I'm often so cautious about hoping, the reason my brain is bent toward cynicism, is I'm afraid of being disappointed. It sucks. When you build up all this excitement, practically bouncing off the walls in a failed effort to contain your joy, waiting with such eagerness and childlike expectation for that moment, that thing, that you just know is coming--and then it doesn't happen. Everything falls apart. That's when the disappointment comes, that great dark chasm that opens up and swallows the joy that makes not a peep before it vanishes into the black. And you feel foolish, so foolish for your belief that you never even stopped to question.

I hate that feeling. The disappointment, the foolishness, the way people look at you with pity bleeding out of their eyes. So mostly, I don't hope for great things. I tell myself I'm protecting my heart. I don't want to be hurt again; I just want to stay safe. And God told us to guard our hearts, right?

Only, He also gave us a promise. Right there in Scripture. And when I read it, when I read it and listen, I can hear Him saying, Hope does not disappoint you. Because you have My Spirit, My love. So go ahead and hope, beloved. Dream big dreams. Ask for the impossible. Believe in the ridiculous. Though the world may disappoint you again and again, though you may even disappoint yourself, don't give up. Trust in Me. You won't be disappointed.

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