27 January 2009

Hoping...


“Hope it all works out!” “Hope you get well soon!” “Hope you find a new job!” “Hope your baby sleeps through the night!”…

These are wishes based on the pursuit of comfort, the want of better circumstances, easier lifestyle, and escape from current challenges. But they’re not hope. When I find myself looking for hope on those terms, I miss it every time. And I have missed it.

I now find myself no longer looking for hope. Instead, I recognize the fact that I have hope, therefore I can look more confidently at my world. This hope isn't based on my comfort level or things going my way, although that would be nice. It's not based on circumstances, political policies, economic status, or my health—and that’s a good thing.

My hope is based on something that won't change; Someone who is outside all of my circumstances, yet intimately acquainted with all aspects of my life. This Someone is never late, neglectful, rude, impatient, or limited in what He does. He is always present, patient, and wise. He gives me what I need as I need it. That Someone is Jesus.

Are you merely hoping, or do you have real hope?

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him…”
– Romans 15:13a (New International Version)

18 January 2009

A reflection on love

Growing up as a child, I remember singing "Jesus loves me, this I know..." But I didn't fully know. It wasn't until I was 16 years old that I came to experience the truth of that simple song on a personal level. It was life-changing.

That was 33 years ago. As I near my 49th birthday in a couple of days, I find myself quietly reflecting. When it comes to my love for my Lord, have I grown sharper or duller over the years? Is my love for Him as passionate as it once was?

In Psalm 73:24-26 the psalmist recounts: "Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

As I get older, my flesh and my heart do fail me. I get busy. Distracted. Lazy. Sloppy. Half-hearted. But in all this I am comforted by a God who knows me and loves me in spite of my failings. His love for me isn't performance based. For that, I am grateful!

"Jesus loves me, this I know...."

Jesus knows me, this I love.

Have you allowed Him to know you?