Hope for 2017

John 6:1-13

“Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

 

As I read these words the other day it struck me—why did Andrew even bother mentioning the marginal lunch available? Philip had just surmised that it would take half a year’s wages to offer enough food to give each person a single bite. It was more than obvious that a small boy’s lunch would do little more than make everyone all the more hungry seeing it but knowing they couldn’t eat it. And you would have to assume that this boy offered his lunch as I don’t believe that the disciples were in the business of stealing lunches like some school yard bully.

Hope. That’s what prompted Andrew to emphasize the magnitude of disparity. This young boy has offered to share but how can that possibly help? I think it’s easy to hear these words spoken in distraught and hopelessness at the situation but I hear it differently. I hear them spoken in the same tone that my six-year-old uses when she is asking for something without actually asking—with the hope that she will in fact receive what she desires. After all, they’ve seen Jesus turn water into wine, heal a man that had been lame for decades, and heal the sight of a man who was blind from birth. They’d seen him do the improbable—the impossible—I like to think that Andrew is logically thinking that “there is no way,” but spiritually thinking “but I hope I’m wrong…”

I feel this way. I have so little to offer. My skills and resources could do little on their own where it seems as though there are so many others who have infinitely more than I. I find myself thinking, “how far will they go among so many?” But as I say it, behind the logic that isn’t adding up in my mind, my heart is crying out for God to take that little and perform a miracle with it. I long to see this offering—small though it may be—and bless it, break it, and distribute it among those who need to hear what God has led me to say. If I have the faith to offer it, it can multiply exponentially beyond my greatest hopes.

This is the base line for my word for 2017: HOPE.

Hope is believing in something you long for. Hope is hanging on when all logic and sense tells you to let go. Hope is eternal and a catalyst for faith.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13 NIV)

 

Hope is what propelled me through the fog of the last part of 2016. It was in hope that we believed in healing. It was in hope that we continued to know that God works all things for good. It was in hope that we looked toward the future, believing in God’s provision in place of seeking legal ramifications against the guilty party. It is in hope that we continue to believe that this experience has shaped our family in a unique way to affect God’s kingdom—to bring Him glory that we would not have been able to do without it. Hope is what leads me to continue writing even though my following is menial at best. Hope is what prompts me to seek speaking opportunities because I want to share God’s amazing power and love with as many women as I am given the opportunity to reach. Hope is what is pushing me back into more in-depth quiet times, knowing that I have sorely neglected that aspect of my relationship with God.

I don’t seek to multiply my own worth, but to amplify His greatness in light of my weakness. To share this hope that I’ve grabbed on to and want to link as many people to as I possibly can. Hope is the renewed spirit within me that wants more of Him above all else.

I have no doubt that this will in turn look very different come January 1, 2018 than it does at the start of 2017, but I know that His ways are so much greater than mine and I am finally submitted to that hope and promise. Here’s to an incredible year.

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