Tuesday, September 20, 2011


On a recent trip to my local Chili's I noticed that their annual Create-A-Pepper fundraiser for St Jude's had expanded to not only including t-shirts, but also slap bracelets. If you are a child of the 80's your mind has already filled with joyful memories of your youth - slapping your wrist, your friends, and basically anything that may or may not capture a slap from one of the world's coolest creations. I HAD to get one for each of my kids.

They were, obviously, immediately excited. By the next day, Josiah had become completely addicted. Studying the every nuance of the toy he asked, "What does this spell?"

"H. O. P. E. Hope," I told him.

"You mean, like, 'I hope I get that new Lego police set'?" he asked me.

For the next five minutes I listened to everything he hoped for. The list included a variety of items from a dog, to new toys, to a vacation, to a new mother (which upon realizing what he said he quickly recanted).

And as Josiah continued to consider his hopes, I considered mine. I remembered Romans 8:22-24 (NIV) which says:
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?

I love that last part: Hope that is seen is no hope at all. The mystery of hope is that it exists and often for no reason. Hypothetically speaking, hope that IS seen is not hope, but rather experience. Experience is trusting in yourself. Hope is trusting in something or someone greater. I hope that my life reflects the words of Edward Mote's classic hymn:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

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