Beautiful day yesterday. Students hardworking, skies clear, temperature 74 degrees.
And then one check-engine light, one large medical bill in the mail, and one lawn mower blowing smoke and dripping black.
I stopped to recognize that inside me is a central hope that life will get more pleasant and not more difficult. Hope that a check will come in the mail and nothing will break down. Hope easily crushed in one afternoon.
One thing I’ve learned about disappointment is that it comes when I have worshiped an idol. “Idols always disappoint,” says Timothy Keller. Having the perfect day with no problems is an idolatry we build to our own happiness. Hopelessness is only one broken lawnmower away.
From a military book I learned the word “mitigate”, which means to make something less severe, serious, or painful. How do we mitigate the effects of broken-down vehicles and unexpected expenses? By putting our hope in something more sturdy.
In Psalm 130:5 we hear this song:
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
Obviously my whole being doesn’t wait for the Lord. Some of it waits for a trouble-free day. So mitigating the hard day means making sure my whole being is placing its hope only in the LORD and in his word.
I’m borrowing a song from the hymnal today:
My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
all other ground is sinking sand,
all other ground is sinking sand.
This hymn writer tells us that hope is built (which means more to me after just finishing a season of Fixer Upper.) Hope is not a feeling we wait for. It’s something we take charge of and construct. It’s a place where we choose to lean and a place where we choose to stand.
Where is your hope today?