In my Bible study right now, we’re reading a wonderful book called “Strong Women, Soft Hearts” by Paula Rinehart. Oh my goodness, it is a treat. I feel like in 4 chapters, I’ve gone through a year of therapy, and I only had to pay $10!
For any of you who read Angie Smith’s blog, Bring The Rain her online book club is going to be starting this book too, so you might want to hop on over and check it out. I think I’m going to do it simply because I’m a slow reader and have a hard time keeping up with book clubs, BUT for once I’ll be ahead since I’m already reading it! It might be fun to follow along with a Bible study, since they’ll have videos and questions to go along with it. Just a thought.
Anyways, yesterday I was reading our chapter for the week and her words on hope practically jumped right off the page to me, “Hope that is pinned to God, rather than to people, has a buoyancy to it because it is grounded not in our own illusion of how our story should read, but in the character of God.”
She talks about how often we’re afraid to hope because we’re afraid of losing, but she says, even if things don’t work out the way we wanted—we don’t get our dream job, we don’t get accepted to our first choice grad school, we realize the boy we poured our heart out to isn’t the one—“We dare not let go of our hope. We stay alive to the possibility of encountering something really good, so that we can welcome it when it comes. As David writes in the Psalms,
‘I would have despaired unless I had believed that
I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living’
David expected to see the goodness of God in his life
—at any possible moment, in the most unlikely situations, because good is simply how God is. A sense of expectancy rooted in the goodness of God keeps hope alive.”
Isn’t that amazing??
This weekend I listened to a testimony of a friend who unexpectedly lost her husband and was left with three children. Soon after he died, she stood up at a Bible study and shared some of her story:
“Three weeks ago I lost my husband, but I’m here to tell you today that God is SO good.” She didn’t deny that she was still in pain. She described her heart as a crystal glass that has been dropped and the pieces scattered everywhere; you try to pick up all the pieces, but every few days, you step on another one. She was shattered and broken, but said that God was slowly beginning to gather up the pieces of her splintered heart. Yet, even in her pain, she could still see that God was good. She proceeded to recount several stories of God’s goodness over the last 18 months of her husband’s life and how looking back, she could see different ways God was blessing them in their final days together as a family and lining things up before he died. His death was not a good thing, but God still was.
I can’t even imagine my heart being in a place like that during such loss, but to me she is an example of a woman whose hope was pinned to God, deeply rooted in His character, clinging to the promise that He is a good God, and a expecting to see His goodness appear at any moment.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that
I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living
Where are we placing our hope?
God doesn’t promise to make our lives perfect or free from pain, but once again, He provides us with a very clear option:
“Hope that is pinned to God, rather than to people, has a buoyancy to it because it is grounded not in our own illusion of how our story should read, but in the character of God.”
“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.”
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope…O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.”
Psalm 130:5, 7