I've been reading her story since the first of December and it's the place where the Lord has met me this Christmas season.
Her pages have kept my thoughts on Hope... which in turn, has kept my thoughts on HIM.
I awake each morning in the dark and I turn on the light, reach for the Word, prop some pillows behind my head, and the whispering begins.
In the quiet of the morning, we meet.
Everybody's got stuff.
There's really no need to compare our stuff to someone else's because the Lord is kind enough to meet us in our own stories.
I happen to live in a very loud farmhouse, married to a man who is completely opposite from me, with five little people whom I love with my whole heart but with whom my mind can hardly keep up.
I need Jesus.
My mothering needs Jesus.
My marriage needs Jesus.
And as I have read of His Hope in these recent weeks, I can sense my hunger for Him rising.
On the hardest days, He is there in the tenderest of ways.
"A satisfied soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet."
I don't want to be a hungry soul just for a season.
I want to live hunger.
This is what draws me to Him.
This is what fills every bitter circumstance with an opportunity to know Him more.
This is what brings me to the sweetness of His presence.
There are days when my heart battles the seemingly impossible and there are days when my heart feels as stagnate as a doorknob.
I serve the one and only famous God and yet there are things in my life that I find myself doubting God can do.
There are people I love who do not yet know His name, who cannot, will not, surrender their lives.
There are marriages and relationships that are seemingly broken beyond repair. Friends who have been praying for their spouses to choose the Lord, to lead them well, to love them tenderly, for years. There are those that I love with addictions and fears and questions about this one big, crazy, often painful life.
And I forget.
I forget the Hope that I've been given.
The Hope that comes in the glorious celebration of CHRISTMAS!!!
Christ is the HOPE that has been given to all of us who believe!
Hope is what allows us to pray those gigantic, seemingly impossible prayers, because with Jesus, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING is impossible, nothing.
I talked with and old woman once, right here on the couch that I'm sitting on as I type these words. She told me of the fifty years she prayed for her alcoholic husband to know Jesus. She's in her eighties now... and her husband, he's known Jesus now for a good ten years. Fifty years of believing in a God she could not see, to do the impossible in a husband who was not easy to love.
And so we choose Hope...
Because when I choose hope, when I chose to engage in that awkward intimacy of believing that He might say no while asking expectantly that He say yes, He gets the most beautiful part of me.
Hope is my precious oil, mingling with tears to wash His feet.
Hope, and the vulnerability that it brings, is what moves my heart...
In Hope... I choose to stand with those at the edge of the flames and say with my life, "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king." And I choose to say too, "But if not..."
Hope is still worth it when my desire becomes one crazy beautiful offering to Him.
It's found in waiting, wanting, adoring__
It's found in hunger.
Rest here (in Hope) this Christmas.
Rest in the hunger He gives us for His Spirit to do the impossible in our lives.
Rest in the hope that we have because He sent His one and only Son into the world as a humble baby, that those who believe could now be called children__ of__ God__ and that is what we are! (John 1)
Her story didn't even mention the Word Christmas.
But it has made this season of Christmas the most real Christmas has ever has ever been to me.
It has given me the boldness to ask that my hope (my belief in the things that I cannot yet see) become one crazy beautiful offering to Him!
Merry Merry Christmas from all the folks under the farmhouse roof.