I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Why can I not open up to God with the deep, close things of my heart? I know I want to, but I hold Him at arm’s length at times, keeping my fears and hurts well hidden. There is a link between hoping and waiting. Hope involves groaning, longing. And those longings are stretched and laid bare in the waiting; I am helpless to cover up and hide them. As I wait, I hold open my heart, into those deep places where I want to find comfort and healing and answered prayers.
How much longer can I keep my heart on display? How much longer can I believe that God will make a way, that He will respond and show me His goodness here in the land of the living?
What does His goodness look like?
I turn on a podcast my friend Molly suggested I listened to. Molly, in all her counselor wisdom, points me to the sharpness in my spirit and gives words to the pain.
Hope is letting yourself want. -Adam Young “Why Your Story Makes It Hard To Hope” podcast episode
Does it make sense to hope? Do I let myself want? Do I use my guttural cries to make myself expectant? Believe? I don’t think so. But part of me desperately wants to, so I keep listening.
In Psalm 27:13–it is before I die, in this life, God will hear my cry and give me what I long for. -Adam Young
Life within the life. But what about my desires for my life versus God’s? Could they ever match up?
Adam continues to present truths and my ears sharpen to the list.
Living in hope requires three things to happen at the same time:
- Bringing our specific longings and desires to God
- Expecting God to meet those desires
- Wrestling with how He can be a good Father when He hasn’t met the desire yet
When disappointments pile up, it creates questions about God, doubts, anger, and resentment. When repeated disappointments make longing for something painful, the tendency is to kill the desire.
He’s speaking right to me. Yup. I’ve tried to deaden my desire. Over and over.
His next words shake me: But it’s also a deadening of hope in God to do the miraculous.
This hits me sharp, sudden reminder of what I’m inadvertently cutting off. Adam follows up with how when we repeatedly have disappointments, they automatically build to cynicism. Thinking it won’t happen, whatever “it” is.
What can I hope for from God in the here and now? I war against hope–I try to stuff it down or kill it, but somewhere deep down won’t let me. God has put a safety switch in my heart so when I am down at the bottom, my dear, broken heart can realign and grow again.
It begins with barrenness, then buds, and then the bloom.
This is part of an ongoing series that will share excerpts of my book-in-progress, tentatively titled Grappling for Good: Revealing grace to light the dark. It’s my journey through a year of unexpected circumstances and soul excavation to discover the goodness of God in surprising ways.