12.03.2015 A Candle of Hope
"For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel commanding our fathers that they should make the great facts of God's dealings with Israel known to their children.
That the generation to come might know them, that the children still to come, still to be born might arise and recount them to their children.
That they might set their Hope in God and not forget the works of God but might keep His commandments."
This week as we have lit the candle of Hope in our advent wreath a few nights and talked about what we are "hoping for." And it has made me realize how much my children and I need to be told the stories of God's great acts, as this passage in Psalms explains, so that they, we, us might put their Hope in God. And to be gently reminded that our hope isn't in santa, or toys or the next fun event, but our real hope is only in Him. I want so much for their hope, my hope, to be in the one God we can trust with our deepest longings, our greatest needs, the One that does Marvelous great things again and again.
This week has also made me ask the bigger questions of myself, What kind of story am I telling my children day in and day out? Is it one of Hope, of trusting in Jesus each day with the present moment and with our future hopes? Is it a constant story of Hope in God?
Those kinds of questions were in part why we began our adoption process almost 5 years ago. It's why we said "Yes" to the Holy Spirit's promptings and reminders that we were called to adopt. Hunter and I had been challenged with the question, "What kind of story is your life going to tell?" And we knew we wanted a better story, a story in which gave room for Hope.
As we sat around the table this week and asked Lawler, Wyllys and Brackett "What are things you are hoping for?" and talked about the difference in wishing and hoping (that is a hard one to grasp), the answers encouraged and challenged me. Consistently they answered "We are hoping for Ruth and Dorcus, " along with "I am hoping for great toys at Christmas." But over all what I heard is that they are living this story with us, of waiting and hoping for their sisters in the DRC. And like most children (and adults) they are wishing for a wonderful Christmas. But I think they are getting it, bit by bit they are seeing what it looks like to place it all in His hands, to hope. I am amazed at how God is working in thier hearts and spirits, because by no means have we done this all right, this relaying to our little ones, this generation to come, all the great things God has done. That's were I am challenged. I want them to know our history with God, their history with Him, so that they trust and hope in Him more and more. That as the psalmist said, "That they might set their Hope in God and not forget the works of God."
Our particular story of adopting Ruth and Dorcus continues. We are most definitely in the place of Hope. We need Him to part the Sea and bring about change in the Congo, so that our girls can be brought home. We need new adoption laws that grandfather in families with adopted children to receive exit letters. We need this to continue to be a priority for our government leaders and those working so hard to continue to have strength to fight. We need His constant guidance in what is our role and what we are to do and not to do.
Over the last few months I have clung to a verse in Psalms 77:19. It has framed it best for me and it's what I pray and tell myself constantly.
"Your steps formed a highway through the seas with footprints on a pathway no one even knew was there. You lead your people forward by your loving hand."
I believe He has a highway, a way through this sea that no one even knows is there and that He will lead us forward by His loving hand. He is doing it. He is showing us step by step what our part is and when we need to wait and trust Him. That is the kind of Incredible God we serve. He is the God of Hope.
Merry Christmas my dear friends!
With love and and Hope,