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What's that I see?

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. 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. Studying hard for an upcoming examination, reading and rereading every important section of our books, gives us hope of a good grade in the end. We all live with some element of "hope" in our lives. If we did not, we'd shrivel up and die - if not physically or spiritually, at least emotionally! Hope is found in the smallest things - even the tiny blade of grass that emerges from the ground after a long winter of ice and snow gives hope of spring's warmth and the return of 'color' again to our world.

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

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 the overwhelming effect a lack of hope has upon our bodies, minds, spirits, and emotions. Our "anchor" begins to shift into sandy ground - we just lose hold of what we could refer to as "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 into jagged roughness in others, leaving those rocky surfaces looking nothing like what they looked like when they were first formed. What has happened to them with the pounding waves seems to be pretty evident - or is it?

We don't see the many tiny pieces of the larger rock which are no longer there, do we? 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 over and over again. We are never unaffected by the waves of disappointment - especially when they are unrelenting in our lives. 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 quite different from theirs. I am not an alcoholic or smoker, but I do tend to struggle with other habits. We often don't recognize the various waves that are "carrying away" tiny pieces of the widow's heart as those waves of grief sweep over her, but their effect is real nonetheless. We don't see the toll the habits are taking, but their constant indulgences are changing the body who cannot stop responding to their constant demands.

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 any longer. I no longer had the counsel of my trusted adviser in life - 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. No one to just listen to my dreams and leave me feeling just a little bit more confident in the end. Tiny pieces, lost in the waves of his departing. I have never been homeless, but I have experienced the uncertainty and fear of losing a job, not knowing when the next paycheck would come in again. The seemingly endless nights of reworking the plan, trying to make ends meet, calculating how long I could make things 'stretch' if the income was to be delayed longer than I expected. All the waves of hope, believing this interview might be the one to restore that 'loss' in my life. Tiny pieces, carried away, 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 constant, unrelenting pounding of the waves. This is hope at its best. 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! How about you? Are those waves hitting hard right now? What is God about to reveal with the 'carrying away' of those tiny pieces in your life? Trust him with the revealing of what is hidden just beneath all those tiny pieces. The waves aren't meant to destroy us - they are just doing the work of revealing what is hidden inside! Just sayin!

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