For me, Hope is one of the great needs in life. Air. Water. Food. Hope.
If you somehow convince me that a situation can never be changed, I’ll leave the situation. If you convince me that I can’t leave (and there is a strong possibility that I’ll chew my arm off to get out) then I droop. I despair. I stop doing ANYTHING. It gets ugly. Really, really, REALLY ugly. Like, it’s a good thing that I can’t stomach alcohol, because I’d have vodka stashed in the couch ugly.
I don’t mind having to change tactics. I don’t mind having to come at things from a different angle. I’m all about flexibility. And heaven forbid you think I mind working – I don’t.
But I won’t work if there is no hope. Likewise, if I have to slog through and do my time … and I can’t speed anything up, but I just have to sit there? Nap time! I will do the bare minimum necessary to get to where I have to go. Not pretty – and I’m not pretending that this is a nice part of my personality.
What’s hard for me is to have a problem and NOT mess with it. To take my hands off and go do something else – that takes a tremendous amount of willpower, and preferably a choke collar with spiky bits inside.
But not everyone is me. I talked to my BFF and to a couple of other people, and person after person told me essentially that they just got through the days – hope was dangerous, because you HOPE in something that you do not yet have, and that emotional investment can be scaldingly painful if it is taken away. Interesting. As a person who runs on hope, I am often disappointed. I get my nose bopped, I get hurt, I sit down and mope for a minute…. and then I find another facet to work on or a whole new hope to invest in. But I -literally- run on hope.
So, I’ve learned not to share my dreams with just anyone… it’s sad, because I’m perfectly happy to generate hope for others. (And a path to the hoped-for-object, because I’m practical as well as dreamy). I don’t like scalding people.
I have a problem right now (well, it’s not MY problem) and I can’t do anything about it, and I’m being cuddled and loved and kept busy… God is GOOD. All my dreams could come true, does God will… or not, if not. God is in total control. I long, long, long ago surrendered to His will for my life, even if I don’t like it. He’s God, I’m not. We do things His way around here.
God is ALWAYS in total control, but not every season in life lends itself to that knowledge. He often allows us the illusion of control. But it’s an illusion. Why should I not hope? Any child can ask their father for a certain gift – and sometimes they get it, and sometimes not. A healthy relationship with your Father is like a healthy parent-child relationship, where the child is not reluctant to reveal the desires of their heart, nor to surrender those desires to greater wisdom and perfect timing.
The difference is that we teach our children to do for themselves and not be dependent on us, for the children must grow up to be parents themselves one day. We, as Christians, have growing up to do, but it seems to me that the more I grow in Christ, the more knowingly dependent I become, not less. I grow in trust, in faith… and yes, in hope.
Hope does scald… but I wouldn’t trade it for despair, which is always five degrees cooler than room temperature, and a bit sticky.
I don’t want to be stuck. Hope is easy – waiting is hard.