Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Tight Rope of Hope

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. " Matthew 6:34

This verse is so difficult for me. I am a planner. As a ministry coordinator, I feel like if I don't look to the future and plan out exactly what's going to happen...it will never happen. It's great to be organized, to prepare for quality ministry, this I know.

But this Bible verse is a salve for something more taxing to me than my personal calendar. Perhaps it is because of a lack of faith, or just an allowance of fear to creep into my heart. Some days, I walk around, wobbling along a tight rope of hope, sure that I'll plummet any moment into a pit of despair. There are gusts of talk, winds of rumors, tornadoes of change that threaten to knock me off kilter...and sometimes they do, and sometimes I fall and fall and fall, until I finally remember that I have a Savior, and if I would stop looking down to where I am falling and up to where He reaches out His hand, I can stop the fall, and climb my way back up, pulled by Christ's grace-filled hand.

 It happens most when I read the news. Really. I am not one of those people who shakes their head and says, "That's terrible. I don't know what I would do if..." I am one of those people who grips my chair and can peek ahead in my imagination and develop all sorts of scenarios where the political climate, the world leader, the new law, the new tax, the verdict, will specifically affect me and my children. And my parents wonder why I don't watch the news. It is personally draining and a threat to my fragile balance on hope. 

It also happens when people mention "the end times", "the end of the world". Yes, I am a Christian, and I know what prophesy holds, and deep down, I sometimes can understand how something that happens could be considered as fulfilling that prophesy. But when what's in my head is verbalized by someone else, blow me down and hear me scream! I walk the rest of the day with my head lowered as if the skies are trembling from above and I may as well give up on dreaming about all the things I dream for mine and my children's future.
 It is a lack of faith. It is a shift of a Christ-centered view to a flesh-centered view. It is good old fashioned joy extinguished by ancient old fear.

I am sure there are people out there who suffer these same things. Sometimes I wonder. There are people in my life who embrace life with joy even in admission of these things and their consequences. And then there are people in my life who feed off the disasters and destruction and obsess with the hopelessness of it all and turn to personal coping, which is not a pretty sight since God's usually not involved.

Scripture is my only light at the end of the chasm. It is through Scripture that I find Christ's open hand waiting to hold mine. Another verse comes to mind. It renews my strength of mind, my peace of heart. I will end with it, because it sandwiches these confessions of fear with a truth-filled hedge. Amen! 

 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 

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