Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hope for the Present, Not Just the Future

I’ve always been a woman of hope.

I have always known that my life was in God’s hands and that my future was securely taken care of. I firmly believe he gave me dreams and aspirations for a reason. I know everything I’ve gone through – the good and bad – will eventually work out for his glory and my good on this earth.

And I am positive that my eternity is secure through Jesus Christ.

Even when things don’t seem to go my way in the present, I’ve always known they’ll get better again because I serve a loving God who knows the plans he has for me: plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

Lately, however, I’ve been struggling. Big time.

I didn’t lose my hope that God can and will work through my difficulties to bring about something beautiful. I’m just as confident in my earthly and eternal future as I’ve ever been. Yet I’ve nonetheless been depressed in the moment, finding it difficult to focus on that future instead of how rotten I feel in the present.

Here’s the thing though. I’m not supposed to be focusing so heavily on the future. The future is what it is, and what it is is not what I have right here and now. It’s not anything I can make the most of because it’s out of my reach.

It’s not mine to control.

I’ve always thought of hope as happy thoughts about what’s still to come. But I learned something this morning…

Hope isn’t just for whatever is around the corner. It also concerns the present.

And the present is something I have a lot more power over. Not complete power, of course. If I had that, I wouldn’t need to hope.

I can hope that my thoughts and actions and reactions will bring me closer to God. I can pour myself into each moment I’m granted in order to live it to its fullest, hoping – knowing – that even the littlest things can make a difference either in my life or in somebody else’s… maybe even in both.

So yes, God has my tomorrow and next week and next year firmly under control. And, most definitely, I have beautiful things waiting for me up ahead.

But I also have beautiful things he wants to reveal to me in the moment.

And that’s something worth hoping for.

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