HOPE

When you don’t know your favorite vacation destination!

Well, I’m sitting at Panera with my favorite other Megan and laughing as we fight our ridiculous first world problems together. My older-than-dirt computer is only responding about once every thirty seconds as I tap the keys and Megan is trying desperately to remember her “favorite vacation destination” as the answer to a security question to get to a website. Aaaaand Panera doesn’t want us freeloading off their internet anymore. We are cut off. We are StRuGgLiNg to say the least.

“Why doesn’t it listen to me!?”

“When did I set this up and WHERE on earth had I traveled recently?”

Our frustrations are growing and our stomachs are rumbling (again) and perspective comes into play.

I have been overwhelmed again, friends. I have returned to the place of hopelessness. It’s not pretty when I arrive but somehow I keep finding myself settling in. “So the computer needs fixing? One more straw on the camel’s back!” I’m guessing you’ve been there before too?

I’ve also recently had several amazing moments of looking back at a time of life and seeing God’s hand at work where I didn’t even realize it before. He was doing big things I could not have foreseen. Then I started thinking “How am I going to see this situation ‘after the fact’? That’s how I want to think about it now!!”

And that glimpse of a new perspective changed everything.

I started off thanking God for the things I hated BEFORE- the ones I thought I wouldn’t make it through. I thanked him for the outcome I can see now but couldn’t dream of then. I asked for a mental picture of my dreams and/or His promises that are still unfulfilled and I asked Him for scripture to back it up.  I want to celebrate that picture. I want to celebrate those promises… IN ADVANCE.

Part of my problem is that our stunning and billowy Michigan winter does not permit me much reprieve. I know this. The lack of sunshine and endless cold are definitely a mood-killer. Thank goodness GOD’S PROMISES ARE SO MUCH BRIGHTER! When I return to the woodcarver and ask for His perspective I come alive with anticipation of his promises.

Here are my promises for today:

“Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us AN ETERNAL GLORY that far outweighs them all”!! ~2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV)

“Orphans won’t be orphans forever” ~ Psalm 10:14b (MSG) -Amen for my ELISEE!!-

“When doubts filled my mind, YOUR COMFORT gave me RENEWED HOPE and CHEER” ~Psalm 94:19 (NLT)

And my personal favorite of all God’s promises:

“I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way, who can’t see where they’re going. I’ll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country. I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don’t fall into the ditch. These are the the things I’ll be doing for them- sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute.” ~Isaiah 42:16 (MSG)

Did I mention that Isaiah says God actually shouts this last promise? “He shouts, announcing his arrival; he takes charge and his enemies fall into line.” (v 13) And the NIV says it’s His “battle cry”. It’s a pretty powerful promise, my friend. Let’s take this one to the bank and cash it in for whatever battle you are facing. God is sticking with you, not leaving for a minute. Ask him for a mental picture of what your personal victory looks like. I bet it’s good. When our imaginations run wild, God can raise our expectations beyond what we could ever dream.

“God can do anything, you know- far more than you could ever ask or imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)

… now let’s just hope that His promise is a trip to our favorite { & Sunny!} vacation destination…wherever that is!

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