As we stand at the brink of another year, it is a little hard for me to see past this moment. I feel grateful and thankful to be here, when I know the road for many has been littered with transition, grief and the word of 2020, uncertainty. But can I say it? I’m a little tired. After pandemic and elections and all the stressful and even the miraculous in between, I feel a sort of weariness aching my back and pinching the space between my eyes.
It’s the deep breath, the pause between the workout reps if you will. The burn of your muscles, the shaking out of your hands and feet as you prepare to go at it again.
It feels like a soldier that knows she still has to enter into unknown battles ahead but doesn’t have the strength to wield another weapon. Not just yet, at least.
Maybe it’s a moment of transition, a pause that was out of your control. Your ministry and roles have been halted or you were forced to go on furlough. So now you wait, for a word, for a change, for something to lift.
But there is a byproduct to this. An actual result to the things that we have walked out this year as we’ve done our best to stay focused, seek out joy and stay centered on Christ.
“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame…” Romans 5:2-5a (ESV)
We are invited to rejoice and hope and as we walk our journey, we are promised that hope is also waiting ahead for us. A reward for our perseverance. The hope that according to Hebrews 6:19 is an anchor keeping us firm and steady.
So even in the midst of what tries to steal our strength, we as beloved warriors are encouraged to lift up our arms, aiming the weapons of our warfare into the future. Hope becomes the driving force behind the arrows we launch out in faith as we are reminded of in Hebrews 11:1, and wherever we may find ourselves, we will be ok. We will be anchored.
As I meditate on hope-filled verses, these words of prayer and declaration fill my thoughts as I reflect on the past and look forward to what’s to come:
Hope is an anchor currently for my soul but also anchors thrown out into the unknown. Pieces of promise that we can pick up along the way. Positioning us to be intentional with our doings because the who and the move of us matters. Across the earth, in our hidden places. In the moments seen and unnoticed.
Hope is found in you, Lord
In the letting go and leaning in,
In the in-between places, the cracks to fill in, the deep breaths of rest or the giving our best or the mess we will fix in the midst of new mercies tomorrow.
Hope is found in You.
Not lost but recovered over and over again. Loss covered in the shelter of your wings, lifting the burdens that tried to remove the wind from within our lungs.
Healing the wounds so we can run. Freely.
Hope is the breathing deeply. Feet pounding the pavement of the way you’ve made for us. Stirring up dust with the purpose that is never restricted or retired or limited by what seems dire. Hope is remembering to lean towards the sun, finishing what You authored from the beginning.
Hope is found in You. Jesus.
In the embrace of your arms. The reward that really matters. In the strength that is yours. To walk through open doors, trusting that nothing catches you off guard or by surprise yet when we seem tipped to the side, hope in you is the anchor by which we continue to thrive.
Hope propels us beyond temporary resolutions. It steadies us with firm resolve, marking us with the determination to keep.moving.forward.
Towards you and the hope that brings redemption, restoration and renewal.
Hope is found in the places of immeasurable cost and pain that you turn into doorways of opportunity. Valleys of Achor that declare the majesty and power of your name.
So we will hope in the new. New year, new era, in whatever circumstances may loom because to be with you, Lord, is permanence and security, steady and true. So we will lean, let go if we must, and continue to trust in you.
As we step into the new year, may your hope in Christ give you strength to continue and the ability to rejoice in all things.
As you get a chance, read Hosea 2:14, Jeremiah 29:11, Hebrews 6:19, and Hebrews 11:1. Which promise of hope do you most identify with?