Hope in Thee, Not Me

“But I will hope continually and will praise You yet more and more.”
Psalm 71:14

Merriam-Webster defines hope as a “desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment.”

I didn’t wake up expecting or believing for God’s provision or fulfillment this morning. I was coughing, my ears plugged up by a cold and my heart heavy with regret from the night before. I went to bed frazzled by an argument with one of my kids. It kept me awake all night like a bad dream waiting to pester me each time I closed my eyes.

My hope, the desire I carry deep in my soul that I long to see God bring to fulfillment, is that my children grow up to know Him and serve Him all their days. The part of it that is outside of God’s plan is the part where I take control of the reins. It’s like a toddler trying to ride a thoroughbred – dangerous and destined for disaster. That is how my conversation was last night. I wanted to clamp my hands around my child’s future and arm wrestle it to the ground by sheer force of my will. I wanted to stand in the way of the bad things I imagined would be the outcomes of decisions made and I wanted my hope to be enough to change things.

Ends up, hope in myself is not gonna get it done. Hope in myself is like a thirsty traveler running to an imagined oasis in the desert just to scoop up a mouthful of sand. Hope in myself produced frustration and a whole bunch of ungodly words. Forgive me, Lord.

There are moments like this for all of us, when we misplace our hope in things or people or ourselves – when we cease to expect God to fulfill the things we desire. The good news is that we can reset. Every morning as faithful as the golden sunrise, God provides us new mercy – I’ll take it! I praise You continually for Your grace that allows me to once again peel my fingers off my kids’ futures, yielding to the only hope that is true – You, Lord!

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