Friday, February 17, 2006

Put Your Hope In God

In my sixth grade autograph book, a boy by the name of Mark S. signed his name and added the comment, "to the girl who always wants to know what is going to happen next." He couldn't have characterized me any better. I hated not knowing what was coming next. I believed that as long as I knew, I wouldn't be caught off guard and left unprepared. I am not a planner for every contingency just the contingency that I know is going to occur.

Clearly, my confidence was in myself and my ability to overcome any circumstance. Knowing in advance what was to happen enabled me to better prepare. However, homeschooling (and the Christian life for that matter) isn't programmed like sixth grade. We can't and won't always know what is to come. But that doesn't mean the outcome is any less certain.

I often find my sixth grade mindset creeping into my 43 year old brain. I fight the urge to want to know what is going to happen next. If I just knew that everything would work out then I could just relax and trust the Lord. Sounds simple doesn't it. But when I read the scripture that just isn't how God set things up.

Paul wrote in Romans 8:24
For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
When A birthday is approaching around our house, I will often hear the honored child say, "I hope I get a ...." They are expressing a confident expectation for something that hasn't happened yet. Their hope is an expectation of something good to yet to come. They never hope for what they already have. It is always something new. The expectation gives them energy. Their enthusiasm and energy is contagious.

Most begin homeschooling with a similar expectation. We start with a burst of enthusiasm and energy that is built around the hope of something good to come. But just like a birthday, we don't always get exactly what we want. We start to see things that don’t seem to quite fit the expectation we had in mind. Our hope begins to falter and our confidence wanes. Before we know it we begin to question the very calling that we were once so enthusiastic about. (Or atleast the curriculum we are using.)

While I cannot speak for others, when this happened to me I wondered whether homeschooling was going to work out for me the same way it had for others. Did I really have what it takes to do the job?

The answer is no. I don't have all that it takes to do this job. That's where hope comes in.
We are often reminded to put our faith in God. But we must also put our HOPE in Him as well. I don't know "what is going to happen next." That is the Lord's to reveal as I put my hope in him. HE began this work in me and our family. He will see it to completion. My hope is in HIM.

"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:31)

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