This is my third blog on hope in the last ten weeks. Blame this one on a quote from an excellent sermon I heard yesterday: You are the conduit of hope for a hopeless world – and a reflection of your Heavenly Father’s riches.
But hope in what, or more importantly, who?
When it comes to reflecting the riches of my Father, my hope is either migrating toward stuff or toward the Giver of every good gift in my life. I can’t lean in two directions at once. My testimony declares that I trust God for my future, or the pile of stuff in my garage or in my bank and retirement accounts.
This is not a call to reckless living, no planning and a ‘que sera, sera’ attitude. Instead, it’s a priority check on who and what I believe really secures my future. If it’s God, then it must show in a settled heart and spiritual indifference to ‘having enough’. However, if it’s based on just my ability to provide, then that shows up in restlessness, anxiety and fear that somebody can mess with my future.
God wants the migration of our hope to move in his direction.
I had a disturbing dream years ago when my sons were in elementary school. My second and fifth graders were not at the airport with my wife as she picked me up from a week-long ministry trip. “They’re really into collecting aluminum cans” she explained.
They were not at home when we arrived, but did come home for supper … after which they both left again and were gone until dark. Their teachers said they no longer played at recess, but scoured the fence line around the school for cans. My garage was half filled with garbage bags of cans.
Finally I confronted my eldest. “Wes,” I asked “why are you so intent on collecting cans? What’s going on?” He had difficulty answering me. So I pressed, “Wes … why are you doing this?”
With adolescent embarrassment he looked down, shuffled his feet and quietly mumbled, “Dave and I talked about what would happen if you and Mom didn’t take care of us anymore and we thought we’d get ready in case that happened!”
Imagine this father’s broken, pounding heart as he woke up from that dream. I was crushed to even conceive such a scenario. And what about God’s heart as we say to him through our actions, “Not sure I can trust that ‘supply all you needs’ thing and I’m afraid you may not be there when I need you, so I’m hedging my bets and migrating my hope in another direction!”
This week put your confidence where it belongs … in the God who promised to meet all our needs according to his riches in heaven. There is no safer place for your heart’s hopes. Count on it.
“Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money,which is so unreliable.Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment.”
I Timothy 6:17 New Living Translation
May you experience joy for your journey!