Have you ever found something you forgot you had? Or lost something without realizing it?
When I was 31 years old, my first husband died of cancer. In the years that followed, I struggled to raise our four young children alone, in the midst of great depression.
Some months ago, I came upon a forgotten manuscript I had written 22 years ago, during the cancer process. As I glanced through the writings, I really didn’t want to read it. “What are you doing, Lord?” I cried. His voice was very clear, “I’m taking you back to get something you left behind.” “What? “ “Hope.” Hope? For the next couple of months I pondered the word hope. I thought myself strong in faith, so how was it possible that I didn’t have hope?
Finally one morning He said, “It’s time to go back. I want you to transcribe the manuscript.” I offered the option that I just read it – as though He hadn’t considered this alternative! Oops, repent and move on. Still maturing. So I re-typed the six chapters to create a digital copy. I couldn’t help note how my style of writing was so different then. I was so different, leaning on my own understanding. I had not yet learned to trust the Lord.
So what about this “hope” thing? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” What was I hoping for? I wasn’t. The door to the past was fully open, and I clearly remembered how, after hearing the terminal diagnosis for my husband, I had cried for 2-3 days straight. In the process all of my dreams came crashing down, and I exchanged a life of hope for a life of living only in the present. I had stopped dreaming. I had stopped hoping. I thought that hope had died. It truly seemed a part of me stopped living, and I was scared to hope again.
As I walked this out with the Lord, wrestling with the meaning of hope and what it is to hope again, I received this definition: Hope is for unrealized heavenly/spiritual victories with earthly and/or personal impact. The source of our hope: Jesus Christ.
In His loving way, He showed me that all those years ago hope had not died, just my pictures. At the core of my hope was the desire for a “happily ever after”. That was still a reality.
Take a moment to consider this question: Has anything in your life caused you to leave hope behind? Perhaps it is time to go back and find it. The journey will be worth it!