What, what would have become of me had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living!
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
Psalm 27:13,14 (amp)
Hope...a word that we throw around without regard to its power. "I hope you get to feeling better." "I hope things work out for you." "I hope my insurance covers this medicine." "I hope I don't have to stand in line very long." "I hope my son has friends when he's older." Hope is powerful. It's so powerful that medical professionals recognize it as an crucial element in the healing process for patients. It has been studied and documented that patients with hope outlive those without hope. And woe to the person who has no hope! I have someone in my life that claims to be an atheist. Recently I thought about her and how hopeless of a life she must lead. She believes she has no savior...no God at all, there's no concept of redemption from sin, no eternal life to ponder...we just cease to exist when we die (or so she thinks), no one to lean on when people have betrayed or deserted her. No one to call out to when disaster hits. Nothing. Just her and the temporal things she can lay her hands on here on this earth.
According to the world, hope is a feeling...a wish or desire that something will happen (or not happen). But as followers of Christ our hope is far more foundational than a simple feeling. Our hope is rooted in a God that has proven His love and devotion since before the days of the Earth. Hope for us is a trusting expectation that the Lord is going to stay true to His promises. That He truly is the same yesterday, today and forever. That the same God that parted the sea for Moses and the Israelites can also hear our prayers and move mightily on our behalf.
I love how David talked about hope in the above scriptures. David certainly understood what it meant to hope in the Lord. When you consider his life, how else would he have made it through that life had it not been for hope? And realize that he didn't lose hope when things didn't turn out as he thought they should. When, in the natural, it seemed that God had turned His back on David. In fact, David got up each time, dusted himself off and continued to follow God. THAT is when you realize that hope is more than a feeling. If hope was merely a feeling, David (or we) would never get back up, with trusting expectation, after something didn't go as we expected.
Hope is not a feeling. Feelings are temporary and can misguide us. Hope, the kind that comes from a relationship with Christ, is a deep-rooted, trusting expectation that my God will be our rear-guard. He will cover us in times of trouble. He will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory. He will give His angels charge over us. He will go before us and prepare the way. He has equipped us with everything we need to fulfill our purpose. He will rebuke the devourer from our lives. He will bless us exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ever imagine. He will love us with an agape love so deep that we can never reach the end of it. He will forgive our sins and never recall them again. He will heal us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He has given us victory through Jesus Christ...and He has prepared a place for us where we will spend eternity with Him. (Whew)
Here's the thing. I came out here today to blog...not really knowing what to say. When I opened blogspot I noticed a new blog in my feed about children with disabilities not having friends once they reach about 10-years-old. This struck a nerve with me because that is one thing that is a concern for our son. I began reading it and thought, "Where is our hope for his future?" Aspergerians struggle with maintaining close friendships. We've known this but have hoped that he would be the exception to this because he is so high-functioning. But within seconds my mind was hijacked by the enemy and I began playing out all of the "nightmares" and "what ifs". Then, the Holy Spirit said, "WAIT..STOP THIS FOOLISHNESS!" A blog by another mother of a disabled child nor the diagnosis made by a doctor have any bearing on what the Lord says about him. We have hope. True hope that he will have friends. He will not be lonely. He will not turn to addictions to cope with being "different". He will not run with the wrong crowd. He. Will. Not. The Lord has already blown our minds with how far He has taken Reid and how He has used that little fella. He turns 8 next week. We will continue to "wait for, hope for and expect the Lord" to continue what He has started in Reid. We look forward to his future with hope and great expectation. Our hope is not a feeling...it is a foundational truth in which we can stand firm and believe that God has carved out a very special place in history for Reid. Afterall, the Lord spoke to Richard before we ever conceived and told Richard that he would have a son and his name would be called Fearless. That doesn't sound like an unhappy, lonely boy to me.