On this Walk with Him Wednesday, Ann has asked us to write about the practice of hope. As a nurse I see how essential hope is to the well-being of people. Hope is the orientation to life that believes that there will be a good outcome–that everything is working out for the best. For the person who views the glass as half full rather than half empty, possibilities abound. When such a person is faced with a mountain, they envision beauty on the other side. The beauty keeps them pressing on when the upward climb exhausts. In medicine, we like to say there is always hope. As Oliver Sacks, great neurophysician who witnessed the sudden awakening of severely effected Parkinson’s patients in the movie Awakenings, states, “It is not what disease the patient has, but rather what patient the disease has.” The exact same microorganism, life disaster or mental assault will happen to two different people, but the individual’s response to the dis-ease is what can most effect the outcome.
For the Christian, hope is more than optimism; it is more than positive thinking. What keeps a Christian hopeful is his/her relationship with Jesus Christ. Christ makes promises and He keeps those promises. The Christian who truly believes in the promises of God knows the ending of the story. She knows she wins in the end. She does not know the outcome of every battle, but she knows that she knows that she knows that the war is already won. A Christian young man may not know what sacrifices he will be called to make in the war, but he knows they will not be for naught. Hopeful Christians are not Pollyannas; they are not wishful thinkers or naive “yes” people others can walk over at their will. They are children of the Creator of the Universe and they know whom they have believed. They do what they are called to do, face what they are called to face and resist what they are called to resist. A daily, steady flow of the love of the Lord through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit keeps the believer armed and ready. Feeding on His word and conversing with Him all day long keeps the river of love flowing and hope ever-growing for the intentional Christian.
For me, I have a date with the Lord every morning to memorize portions of the book of Colossians to get the word in my heart. I talk to the Father as I run my dogs and listen to Him speak to me in the silence of the morning. This morning the roaring of the swollen creeks after another hard rain during the night reminded me of His power and sovereignty. Once home, before breakfast my husband and I read the Scriptures and pray together from the book The Valley of Vision. These are intentional ways I meet my Savior at the beginning of every day. Am I hopeful? YES!
Walking with other hopeful people today at Ann’s,