Faith & Encouragement

Hope Full – Life Lived

January 15, 2012

Hope-full. Full of hope. Hopeful.

How quickly that changes to dismay and discouragement then teeters on the edge of dispair as your heart sickens within you.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick”, solemnly whispers to us from the dusty pages of the book of Proverbs.

I have worked, I have built, I have poured blood, sweat, tears and prayer into many things only to find them disintegrated at my feet.

An ash heap. Headed for the dustbin. Dismayed, I stand over my aspirations, clutching the shards of what had been tightly to my chest and dispairing of ever finding hope again.

As the years continue to flow past me I have seen cycles emerge. When we are young everything must be instant and immediate. One thing fails and we believe it is the end. Angrily we vow to “never” try again. Our hearts are broken. Our will is ignored. Our passions are spent.

Looking back I can see the spinning of the wheel.

Only One is constant, unchanging. Only my understanding of Him changes.

I have had an expectation unmet. I have had a desire not viable. I have had a hope which has proven to be unrealistic.

I have been disappointed. My heart has grown ill.

It doesn’t have to be a sickness that leads to death, but I wonder if it should be.

Death to unrealistic hope placed on the fallible and weak shoulders of my fellow humans. Death to the impossible expectation placed upon myself to achieve that which I was never intended to pursue. Death to desperate hope placed on anything else but the broad, all-encompassing shoulders of a Jewish Carpenter.

“…but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” shines brightly in. In spite of darkness. Perhaps because of the darkness.

When we are sick we look for life. That silver apple not stolen from Aslan’s garden but one carefully chosen and carried home.

It’s where healing is found. We look for that sweet fragrance of life reawakening in our tired souls as longings are fulfilled.

Often in the most unexpected ways.

When the kindest words are spoken from an unexpected source. When I am included in the trial and given opportunity to walk beside and help carry a burden. When the actions outweigh the words. When even timid sincerity shines beyond the fear.

When I am seen, intentional, flawed, determined, driven, even successful in my own small way. When triumphs and tears knit us together instead of jolting us apart.

Then there is life.

In that life is the hope of integration with the flawed and fallible shoulders around me. Then, there is life to a realistic and inspired anticipation of what I lean on Christ to achieve. Then there is a Life which fulfills.

All because of the broad, all-encompassing shoulders of a Jewish Carpenter.

  • Beautiful and honest and true. I think of that proverb often, “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” And I like how you’ve answered it with Christ.