Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's Not the Despair that Kills You...

...It's the hope.

Tragedy, loss, grief--they do a harsh thing to those they afflict. They rob their victims of hope. Hope is not a natural thing for our whole lives. Sometimes, hope is something we have to fight to have. There are times we must remember what it feels like to hope, and work hard to have it.

A woman who suffers a miscarriage must fight for hope that she will carry a healthy baby to term.

A young woman abandoned by every man in her life will find hope of a healthy relationship hard to come by.

We have been in this situation before--applying, waiting, interviewing, reasearching, praying--hoping for the right job in the right place.

As I have said before, when a pastor loses his job he loses much more than income. He loses his church family, his support system, and many friends. It's not as though you just apply at the church down the street and get another job. A majority of the time you uproot your family and move. It. Is. Hard.

And exhausting.

And it robs you of hope if you let it.

We have an offer on our house--a good offer by current standards. Good meaning we will make back one-sixth of our down payment.

It's hard to have hope that it will go through.

Dan applied to a church on Tuesday, and had an interview Wednesday. And they loved him. They have a candidate coming this weekend, but their words were, "If he doesn't have Daniel qualities, we will be calling you right away," and, "Unless he is amazing, we will be in touch shortly."

I am so thankful for my hard working husband, and so glad he is receiving recognition in this way...but it hurts to have hope for this job. The job feels custom made for him: it involves students, sports, and missions. We like the location. But getting our hopes us means setting our selves up for a disappointment. Are our hearts prepared to handle another one?

I find that I am fearful. I am not a fearful person, usually, so fear is an unfamiliar emotion for me.

I have largely avoided the what if game. But every so often, when hope begins to creep into my heart, fear of the unknown crushes hope, as though they are mortal foes.

Perhaps they are. They are not opposites, but are in opposition. How can one have hope if fear wants to live alongside it?

God's Word says that perfect love casts out fear. God's love for me is perfect, and therefore I have no need to fear.

It also speaks of hope.

But not in the cheerful way we want to hear. The hope we have in Christ is for our eternal destiny, and it is a sure hope, not one that will ever let us down.

In this life we are promised sorrow. We are guaranteed suffering, if we are following Christ.

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