Our Stories Are About Hope

Things hardly ever fall together the way we would have scripted them. At times, following Jesus feels like looking into the viewfinder of a camera; screen is too small to see. But just because we can’t see where God’s is leading us, there is no reason to completely stop.  We seek harder, look for a better view that is well worth taking, keep walking the path where God is calling you to walk, whether the camera screen is clear, fuzzy, or completely dark.

God puts dreams in our hearts and writes a destiny over our lives. And if we trust Him enough to take Him at His word, we will find ourselves on a journey toward the fulfillment of that dream. But that path that takes us to towards that dream is always wrought with thickets and thorns. Nothing worth having ever comes easy or without opposition.

Storms will come, lions will roar, and our fears will be confronted. I realized that God allows the path to be difficult because He intends on refining us and preparing us for our place of promise. He is intent on extracting from us, that which our enemy would love to leverage against us. God loves us too much to promote us before we are ready. These are the places where the the nature of God are revealed slowly, and many of these revelations become declarations in our life.

Trusting God When It Doesn’t Make Sense

Joseph had to surrender his dreams to God and put his Hope in the One who gave him the dream. He had a dream from God as a youth and instead of beginning to walk out that dream as he imagined he would, he went through a bunch of what seemed like detours, and his life ended up looking a lot different than I’m sure he had imagined. He continued day by day overlooked—seemingly passed over. Such hope that had arisen in his heart was deferred, left to the day-to-day, living with unfulfilled destiny in his heart and the passion of God’s promises burning in his bones.

But if Joseph had been released from prison in his time, the time he asked to be remembered before Pharaoh, he would have been released. But released as an ordinary man and gone about his business. But God ordained him, who called him, who appointed him unto a great and incredible destiny.

You are being prepared, not overlooked. Set apart, not set aside.

Joseph life story was the same as David, a realization, that if we belong to God, there are even bigger dreams for our lives than our own. But in order to walk in those bigger dreams, we may face greater obstacles than we ever imagined and find ourselves compelled to rely on a much more powerful and magnificent God than we ever knew before.

You have heard of David, the shepherd boy, after Samuel anointing him king (David was about eight and fifteen when he was first anointed) had to wait fifteen more years when he began to rule the tribe of Judah. He had realized that he must go on with his own ‘personal legend’ no matter how difficult the journey becomes. He learned to use his heart to overcome fear. He learned to use his soul to never lose hope when faced with adversity. He learned to focus on his own journey, disregarding the influences of society. In times of confusion, David took comfort that his God is faithful while he did not understand everything while here on earth (read Psalm 73:1-22). He understood that God was for him and is with him. It was personal passage across the sea of choices but David was not without a companions. God was with him.

These are stories about Hope. Being certain of things yet to come (Romans 4:17), that whatever the mountain is, no matter how steep or seemingly hopeless, though the pebbles slip under our feet as we walk onward! God will provide the strength, God will provide the grace, God will provide the way!

Our story is about God’s deep desire is for us: that we would know His love in these unexpected broken places and that we would know the true hope found only in Jesus, who never, ever stops reaching out for us, who cups our pain in His nail-scarred palms and cradles our hearts close to His (Psalm 23 and John 10).

He wants to be our reward. It is a bold claim, to look up your mountain, to look out over the dry, cracked places and the barren places and the broken places, outcomes yet unknown, and call the place “The Lord Will Provide”, to believe that He will when we cannot yet see how. That our hearts would say, would truly know that “God will provide! Because He did. And He does.

As I look back at my life and I know this now with certainty: All the joy and all the pain right up next to each other has made a life of seeking God and knowing Him and then knowing Him more. He has shown Himself in our stories and the intricate way they have been woven together whisper of His glory, His wild pursuit of each of us. His unending grace and love and kindness reach to us, saving us, drawing us to Him.

We can be mended only if we have been broken.

Every detail of each story is His grace, His gift to remake us in His image and rename us: His.