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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Oh, those are BIG waves!

The idea of "hope" is the anchor which holds every person in the battle of cancer treatment.  The chance the latest chemo treatment may just be the one to kick those rebellious cells into remission gives one a chance to believe things may turn out well.  Working hard at a task, seeing incremental changes which appear to be in the right direction, gives a soul expectancy for things to be different from what they are today.  We all live with some element of "hope" in our lives.  If we did not, we'd shrivel up and die - if not physically, at least emotionally!


12 Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around. (Proverbs 13:12 The Message)


In the NIV, the same verse is translated:  12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.  We cannot live with "deferred hope" for very long without feeling its effect upon our bodies, minds, and emotions.  Our "anchor" begins to shift into sandy ground - we just lose hold of "firmness" in our lives.


Have you ever walked along a rocky place on the seashore and observed the many grooves worn by the constant pounding of the waves?  In fact, when you look closely at these rocky surfaces, you will see them worn smooth in some areas, pocked roughness in others, and nothing like what they looked like when they were first formed.  What has happened to them with the pounding waves is evident - or is it?


We don't see the many tiny pieces of the larger rock which are no longer there!  In fact, truth be told, hundreds of thousands of waves have carried away pieces of the larger rocks, tiny piece by tiny piece - until the rock no longer resembles itself any longer.  This is the effect of living without hope - constantly being battered by life - carried away by the waves of disappointment.  We are never unaffected by the waves of disappointment - especially when they are unrelenting.


I am not a widow, but I am divorced.  I can imagine a portion of the grief a widow or widower must encounter day after day - but my circumstance is different.  We often don't recognize the various waves which are "carrying away" tiny pieces of the widow's heart as those waves of grief sweep over her, but their effect is real nonetheless.


I have not lost both my parents, but I have lost one.  When dad passed, it was like a part of my world ceased to exist.  I no longer had the counsel of my trusted adviser - no one to run to when something broke and I just could not figure out how to fix it.  I lost the one who never questioned my ability, but always encouraged me to be my best.  Tiny pieces, lost in the waves.


I have never been homeless, but I have experienced the uncertainty and fear of losing a job.  The seemingly endless nights of reworking the plan, trying to make ends meet.  All the waves of hope this interview might be the one.  Tiny pieces, lost in the waves.


I choose not to look at the pieces carried away by the waves, but the thing which is created by the waves themselves.  I think of the beauty hidden from view - exposed by the waves.  This is hope.  The perspective of seeing something new out of something we may not have chosen for ourselves is all we can hold onto at times, but it is never a disappointment in the end!  As long as Christ is riding the waves with me, I never doubt the effect of the waves!