Hope is something we all need in some area or another. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1 KJB).
I hope for health. What do you hope for?
This next verse has been one I have meditated on often through difficult times–times of waiting and watching but no change to see or speak of. Dead. Dormant. Dry land.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12 NASB).
David said, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalms 43:5 NIV).
I want to expand on the Father and His clock. We cry, and we pray, and we ask, and we expect, and sometimes we give up. Sometimes we give up, and we try and do things in our strength. We try to take out a loan to cover the other mortgage. We try another doctor to get a different result. We attempt to make a man or woman notice us because we want a spouse. Doesn’t Abba know we need a helpmate? We strain to get the door to open in our career by pushing on it in front of our boss. We try to pave all the potholes ourselves and usually end up with a hot mess.
Reminds me of a man named Abram and a woman named Sarai.
When Abram was seventy-five years old, God told him to leave his homeland and go live in tents.
“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2 NIV).
Time goes by and not much changes for Abram and his wife. His wife is barren, and it’s been about a year since the prophecy came to him. However, he still has hope. Three years fade by, and Abram thinks back to when he heard the voice of Elohim. Why hasn’t anything happened? Was it because he lied to the Ruler’s and said his wife was his sister? It wasn’t a complete lie. Perhaps the Father has changed His mind? No, for He is not a man that He should lie, but Abram’s thoughts bother him.
Soon five years have swept by like a moment in time. Now the prophecy seems like a faint dream, and yet Abram can still hear a whisper of hope.
“I will make you into a great nation!”
How? He has no child. Then year six and seven, the number of completion. His wife is getting older, and at times he continues to question the Voice he heard. He ponders the time and place and the words, “I will make YOUR NAME GREAT.” Did he conjure it up in his feeble mind out of want? Or worse, out of a need to prove to his family, that Abba Father had indeed spoken to him.
The calendar keeps turning and now ten years have passed. At first, she believed. At first, she was giddy! The few people she shared her husband’s vision with and the astounding Words the Father had promised them, now seem to all mock, and ridicule her. Some call her husband a false prophet. She dreads meeting the other mothers and grandmothers at the local well. They all talk about their children. Many carry their newborns in their arms. It’s a constant reminder of her empty womb!
It was a curse to be barren; she knew this. Everyone knew this, for God himself spoke of it in His Torah.
“You shall be blessed above all peoples; there will be no male or female barren among you or among your cattle”(Deuteronomy 7:14 NASB).
“There shall be no one miscarrying or barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days” (Exodus 23:26 NASB).
The people say, truly if Sarai were blessed, Abram would have a son.
So all the ruckus gets to be too much for his wife, and she comes up with her own plan. She tries to fix it herself. She tries to figure out God’s plans and intervein.
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife had borne him no children, and she had an Egyptian maid whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “Now behold, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Please go into my maid; perhaps I will obtain children through her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. After Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar the Egyptian, her maid, and gave her to her husband Abram as his wife” (Genesis 16:1-4 NIV).
TEN YEARS– TICK-TOCK:
Abram is eighty-five years old now, and he has a son by Hagar and names him Ishmael. Ishmael means, “Yah will hear.” Yes, the Father will, but the question I must ask is will we hear Him and obey?
When HaShem is ready, something astounding happens.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1).
Twenty-four years later and Abraham has no seed.
I repeat, it has been (24) years since he was given the promise.
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless. Then I will make my covenant between you and me and will greatly increase your numbers. “Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations” (Genesis 17:1-4 NIV).
The Creator of the universe says some more things. However, I want you to listen to Abram’s response. Abraham fell face down; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” (Genesis 17:17 NIV).
We laugh, and we fear, and we give up, but HaShem had not forgotten what he said twenty-four years before to Abraham. He keeps His Word, but in His timing!
Hope in Hebrew means to trust.
Have you given up hope? Don’t!
Twenty-four years is nothing to our Father. I have a friend who has the words “Hope” on the wall behind her television. I used to look at those words when I was homeless and find comfort. Why? Because even in my pain I still had trust in a Father who restores.
Paul said, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5 NASB).
And proven character, hope…
So in the meantime, while we wait and stand on His promises. Hope does not disappoint.
What do you hope for?
Photography by Tekoa Manning