Are You Full of It?


Jen’s Gem: Place your hope in God, not people.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, and sadly am repeating, we’ve had a fair amount of rain over the past few weeks. The downside is that I’ve not been able to enjoy one of my favorite seasons but the upside is that my lawn and flowers are thriving!

I have a large deck in the back of my house. It’s about 20 years old and is in need of some major TLC. As winter was winding down, I thought it would be nice to have some new deck furniture to fill up the massive space. Weekly circulars from the various home improvement stores taunted me with their stylish furniture but when I viewed the price tags, into the recycling bin they went!
I put the thought aside and as the weather warmed up, I set up my existing table, chairs, grill, and planters. My kids and I enjoyed a few meals outside before monsoon season kicked in and all was well with the world for another summer.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a text from my neighbor who asked if I would be interested in purchasing her patio set. It was too large for her space and she wanted something smaller. Having helped her pick it out, I knew exactly what it looked like. When I asked her about the cost, I nearly fell over. Not only was it affordable, it was crazy affordable. I jumped at the chance!
Yesterday, I set up the table, chairs, and umbrella in the same spot as my old set. I was like a kid in a candy store. Even though it was a thousand degrees outside, I embraced cleaning each piece and placing it in its respective spot. Afterwards, I stood back and immediately remembered what I’d hoped for only a month or so ago – to have my deck filled with furniture.
As I write this post, I’m looking out my window and have a perfect view of the new addition. It is bringing me such joy despite the cloudy skies that are casting a dreary look to the day. What I’d hoped for had become a reality.
The other day I was reading about the topic of hope in my daily devotional and its importance in daily life. It immediately reminded me of this verse from Proverbs:
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12 NKJV)
Without hope, without something to look forward to, we really do feel sick. Trudging through the challenges of daily living can steal our hope, whittling away at our happiness bit by bit until we are shackled with hopelessness. Where is the way out?
A month or so ago, I’d hoped for a fully-furnished deck. Even though the new sets were not affordable, I had a gut feeling that somehow it would happen. Not magically or because I was simply having a positive mindset but because I just knew that God wanted to bless me – and He did.
That’s hope my friends. I am learning that when I place my hope in God and His promises, I can face nearly anything. Despite what it looks like outside, on the inside, I am filled with a knowing that it’ll all work out and that things will be ok.
I’m not saying that God is in the business of doling out patio sets or “magically” giving us everything we want. That’s not who He is. God knows the desires of my heart. He also knows my bank account balance. He knows how much I love the summertime and being outdoors. He arranged time and circumstances to deliver to me something even better than I’d hoped for and I’m beyond grateful.
In the past, I made the (repeated) mistake of placing my hope in people or my circumstances. At nearly every turn, I was met head on with disappointment. When we place our hope in imperfect things, we can rest assured that we will get imperfect results. 
Where is your hope today? Is it in your work? Is it in your spouse, your kids, or your friends? Are you looking to these things for your hope? I’d like to encourage you to examine your “hope place” this week. What will you do if any one of these external things fails you? 
When you place your hope in God, knowing that He has your back and will never let you down, that’s the kind of hope that you can be full of every day.

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