“I’ll believe it when I see it” my mum used to say when I told her I would tidy my bedroom, as a teenager.
I don’t blame the lack of hope she had in me because, 15 years later, my bedroom floor is still being used as my wardrobe. And I have even less time to tidy now I’m an adult so there is even less reason to hope, right?
As I’ve got older, I still hear that familiar phrase.
It implies that people would need to witness or see proof of something before they were to believe in it.
It can often be the response to statements like ‘He’s changed’, ‘She’s going to give up smoking’ or ‘England will win the world cup this year’ (I may have even said this one, myself).
Many people choose only to believe in what they see. I can understand that.
It’s easy to believe in what is visible and much harder to believe in that which is unseen.
How can it be real if it is not there?
Perhaps it is just a matter of perspective.
Just because we don’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not present.
Sometimes it may just take a shift in our perspective to see something we cannot see, or even harder still, being patient to know that even though you don’t see it right in front of you now, you know one day you will.
This is called Hope.
Hope put to the test
My hope was put to the test earlier last year when I went on a trip to California. I left unsure of what job I would be going in to, when I got back.
The first few days of my holiday I found myself worrying over this.
Determined not to let it ruin my holiday, I went to pray and I sensed God challenge me.
He challenged me on having hope, on believing in what I couldn’t yet see, and He reminded me of who He was and how He had always had my back in the past.
I chose to have hope. I chose not to spend my holiday of a lifetime worrying about how my life back in the UK would unfold.
From that moment, I found my peace. I knew God would come through for me.
And, He did.
The day I landed I was in an interview, completely unplanned and unprepared (and jet lagged of course), yet God led me there. He made the way.
By some miracle, I got the job!
However, I found my hope not in getting the job itself (the miracle), but in believing that God would provide what I needed so I didn’t need to fear.
You see, my hope was nearly robbed from me at the start of my holiday simply because lies like, ‘your future is fragile, you don’t have the right qualifications, this situation won’t change, you’re stuck in this, you’ve got no strength left’, were trying to scream loudly to me.
As I chose to go to God and pray, the lies quietened in my mind and were replaced with His truth.
I can have hope, because I can see God has been faithful every step of the way.
Believing lies can kill your hope.
Revelation of the truth can resurrect it again.
Living in hope
Living in hope shoots life through our veins, it silences the lies and restores our strength.
It is the reason that we can be grateful we can’t see, because that is when we can choose hope.
And if we see, how can we hope? If we see what we hope for, it’s not really hope.
This is our chance; to feel fully alive, not fearful because we are blind, but hopeful that one day we know we won’t be.
This is our chance to hope for a miracle and come to know that we’ll find our peace in the hope and not just in the miracle.
We can find peace in the murk as we are not grasping at the dark and fumbling for the way.
We follow the calmest voice that says, I am the way, follow me.
Journal Entry – April 2018
So instead of fretting, striving and scheming, I’ll rest in you, I’ll walk with you, I’ll look to you because you hold it all, my world, my days and my heart.
I’ll believe that your good as I wait and I’ll count on my waiting room being your greatest workroom.
Now I see it, it’s here you can get to work, go deep as I stop and place my whole self, right before the healer of my heart.
Patience is my greatest responsibility these days. It’s the fruit you are calling me to bear. For it’s better to have patience than power.
In fact, there is power in the pause.
For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For who of us hopes for something we see?
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Romans 8 24-25