A Patient Kind of Hope
We've been getting settled into our new house. At times, this move has felt a little like we took all of our worldly goods, stuffed them into a huge box and then turned that box upside down to dump it all out somewhere else.
But slowly and surely, things have started to take shape. We can catch glimpses of what it will be like when the boxes, plastic bins and chaos have disappeared and we're left with the finished product.
Lent is a lot like that, I am learning. We catch glimpses of the Resurrection, and see shimmers of the way the world will be when God ultimately gets what God wants. And for now, those glimpses have to be enough to sustain us, and keep us walking.
I find myself in need of a lot of grace lately as we sort through our stuff.
At times, I don't do all that well when the way isn't clear, and there's chaos all around me. I want to get to the other side of it all, and be done. I want God to work it all out neatly, and according to my plans, my desires.
All of this doesn't make me easy to live with at times, I am all too aware. I know where it all comes from--this anxiety, and frantic desire for my own will. I want to be in control, and I'm not. I want to rush through the difficult bits--to fly through Lent and get right to Easter.
In one of his Lenten reflections, Walter Brueggeman writes, "...the future beyond failure depends completely on God and not us; God's way is a way of graciousness and mercy; but it is grace and mercy on God's terms not ours."
The Apostle Paul wrote about the often confusing and challenging nature of hope in God's promises in his letter to the Romans chapter 8:
24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
As you journey down the Lenten path, may you trust fully and completely that the God who raises the dead will bring order to your chaos, hope to your despair and new life to the things that seem left for dead. May you have patient, determined hope that God will keep you and bless you in his time and his perfect way.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.