I’ve been thinking about the similarities between trust and hope. Trust is a rock. It’s a firm faith that all will be well, that all is well. Trust is the storm cellar during a tornado. It’s a peace within your heart that even though the wind blows, all is well. So the world may be crashing around my ears. So what? I know that all is well. What does it matter if I lost a job, an ankle, a refrigerator, a friend? All is well. All will continue to be well, and my circumstances don’t change that. Trust is strong. It’s steady. It doesn’t ride on the moment, because it’s rooted in something much deeper. If I honestly trust God to supply all my needs, then the fact that my desire in this moment hasn’t yet been met doesn’t make any difference. Just because what I want now isn’t what I have doesn’t mean that my needs are not being supplied. Right? So the fickle winds of the moment don’t move that rock. Trust is a contented sigh. My needs are being met, right now, even if I can’t see it happening.
Like trust, hope is a solid thing. Hope is a sunny sky and an expectant smile, but it’s more than just a passing mood. Hope is the knowledge that the future, like today, will be wonderful. Hope is expecting that the trust I have now will not be broken. Hope is seeing past the immediate storm to the flowers that bloom after the rain. Hope is knowing (not wishing) that from every moment comes a lesson. Hope is the knowledge that there is little that may be considered true adversity, because character is not borne of the carefree moments. Character is forged in the victories, both small and large, of life.
It’s easy, sometimes, to grow discontented. As they say, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.” There’s a song that states it well, in my opinion. The words are “I have moments when I curse the rain, then complain when the sun's too hot. I look around at what everyone has and I forget about all I've got.” It’s really true. It’s easy to forget about all the blessings, when we’re focused on the things that we don’t have. But, how can we demand that God provide for us in the way WE choose? How can we presume to know more about how life should look than its Author does? Perhaps the reason you haven’t gotten that promotion is that it comes with a hefty responsibility that would make it impossible for you to be there for your family. Maybe he isn’t interested in you because he isn’t what God has for your life. Suppose that God knows more than you, just for a moment. Suppose that He has your best interests at heart, and He wants to weave you into a beautiful picture that you just can’t see.
Imagine that you are a thread. Just a piece of string. Imagine that you’re supposed to be part of a beautiful tapestry, and imagine, just for a second, that the only way you can add to the beauty of it is to be tied up in knots, used in ways you don’t understand, and attached to other threads about which you know nothing. Now, imagine that you decide to stand up for yourself and untie all those knots, unravel yourself from your spot in the design, and move yourself to another place that’s outside of where you should rightfully be. Imagine that your decision to do as you please mars the design entirely. So you picked yourself up, unknotted your world and moved outside of where God intended you to be. You disassociated from the people who were made to surround you, and you left a hole where you should have been. That’s the moment when a human would say, “Enough!” and cut you out entirely. However, God is still weaving. He is able to take you where you stand and weave you into His design. He’s able to re-arrange everything so that, once again, you fit. You aren’t a spot on the tapestry. Instead, you’re an integral part to an intricate piece of art, because God had grace for you. God chose to use you, wherever you decided to stop fighting. Now suppose that there are many millions of threads, and they are all different lengths, sizes, colors, and textures, and they ALL have their own plan for how they’re going to be. Imagine them ALL getting up and moving around and not allowing Him to weave them where they belong. Sounds like chaos, eh? Isn’t it amazing that God can weave all these errant threads together and keep recalibrating the plan to accommodate all their erratic behaviors?
This all sounds beautiful in the hypothetical, doesn’t it? Well, the real test of faith comes in those moments when you feel small and unimportant. That’s when you choose trust and hope. That’s when you make yourself pliable and available to the will of the Weaver. Or, that’s when you undo His work and move off in another direction. He’ll make it work, because He always does. But, when you look back at the end of your life, it may not be as beautiful as it could have been had you simply trusted.
I’m in that moment. “Wait on the Lord,” said the verse in Psalms. For those whose hearts are anxious, that verse is hard to read. For the type-A personalities among us (guilty, as charged), “Be still and know that I am God” reminds us that not all flexing of the muscles is visible. Sometimes the action we need to take is an act of trust, an act of hope, an act of faith. Sitting is an action verb. So is waiting. So is resting. Trusting. Hoping. Believing. These are things we DO. When we feel as though we need to DO something, maybe it’s just flexing THOSE muscles. So here I am, sitting, unsure of the future. My God is actively supplying my needs. So my action words for today are both nouns and verbs. They are trust and hope. I trust God today, and I hope for my future, secure in His will.