I press the place where my soul is wounded. It’s covered in gauze, and I press it urgently while "Must have. Always hope." pulses in my ears.
“You Yourself said,” I gasp as I inhale, “hope deferred”—another weak breath in—“makes the heart sick.”
He did say it. It's neatly typed on a clean sheet tucked securely in Proverbs 13:12 and it seems to me it's also scratched out on battlefields, in war zones, and on makeshift gurneys that have transported too many sick hearts.
A sometimes hope isn't enough for an all-the-time life.
What I'd like to know is what will keep my hope from being deferred and my heart from becoming sick.
I'd like to know how to hang onto hope when what should be, isn't.
And I'd also like to know what keeps hope full when I don't see much reason to feel it-hopeful.
"What do you see?" My Lord isn't asking me to describe what I hope for. He's already said that hope can't be seen.
"What can I see, Lord?" I turn to Hebrews 11:1 because I know this is where He's given me the answer.
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen."
"So You're saying I can see faith?" I need the reminder.
"When I give faith, I give every reason for hope." His reply confirms His word and I hear pisteuo, again.
Believe, trust, and never lose hope-pisteuo.
Faith feeds hope till hope is full.
"So," He begins again, "what do you see?"
"I want to see what You're doing, Lord." I know my answer is sort of evading the question, but it's hard to see straight when strapped to a gurney.
Battles are confusing—what is and what isn’t.
Where is hope when hurts blur my vision?
“I hurt, God. What hope is there for that?” I ask.
“I hurt too.”
My soul winces. “I forgot. Oh, I forgot!” Pain does that.
“You hurt for me. And because of me.” My heart breaks that I forgot, but somehow the reminder levies hope.
He nods gently. “What do you see now?”
“I see You.” I keep my eyes open and fixed on Him because I believe in Him.
"I see You." Hope soaks up the soul’s bleed.
I press Jesus there.
I press my faith there.
It’s powerful and a mystery to be found out, faith. I'm purposing to find it out, and the first place I look is to Jesus.
"Show me faith, Lord" is becoming my daily prayer. Then I watch and listen and wait till He shows me.
I see morning mist rise as veil, then open to the light.
I see a living veil of buds green, red and pink on backyard trees , and blossoms sweet as peaches from the kitchen window. One day they will split open and give way for what they are and will be.
I see newly born squirrels romp the limbs, pecan wood, over my head.
"Tell me about this faith!" I long to hear Him.
He begins to tell me about the veil that was torn in half when He gave way for life for me and the world. "My life is bud in you. Sweet life." Then, "Do you see peaches?"
I don't. It's too early in the growing season. "One day soon I will."
I will. That's the way it works, and it's the way faith and hope work too.
Yellow dog digs up the rawhide strip I gave her on the first day I brought her home. It was hard and dry when she buried it, but now? Now it's her treasure, expanded and floppy as shoe leather.
She's just my dog with a strip of raw hide and if I didn't know better I'd wonder if she'd received that strip as faith, buried it in faith, and trusted that it would become what she hoped for. I wonder how many times she put her nose to the ground, checked, and how many times she might have been disappointed (if disappointment is a canine emotion) that her hope wasn't yet fulfilled.
Well, maybe I'm projecting onto her what disappointment I know I would feel-rawhide notwithstanding.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, I think to myself, but maybe this kind of heart sickness is healed when reason for hope substantiates hope till the soul knows something beyond its own wound-true hope may be deferred till one day, but true hope is never lost. It's just ripening.
Yellow dog happily offers me the rawhide. I congratulate her, “Yes, I’m happy for you!” “But, no, I have my own ripe. You can keep yours.” I pat her head.
written by: Carolyn-Elizabeth Roehrig
(adapted from my PISTEUO! books)