Stilts…………that’s what it was for me when I was 9 years old. All I wanted was to climb up on those crazy legs, look down on every one, and, well, that’s as far as I got. I just wanted stilts! (One of the best things about being a child is that there never has to be a reason or a plan for what you want… you just want it!) I begged, pleaded, prayed, talked to Santa, (wanted to cover all the bases) and then hoped against hope that someone, anyone would come through for me. Then the waiting began. You see, I had seen them in the infamous, wonderful, glorious, “Wish book” that came out every October from Sears and Roebuck. About half of you reading this will remember that “book full of dreams”. An entire catalogue reserved for toys and every wonderful thing imaginable for a child. How many of us remember going page by page, dog-earing and circling all the things that you were putting on your “list”? I could go on and on, but I know I must get to the point. Hope is so huge. Without it, where would we be? Hope for the test results, hope for the promotion, hope for the child, hope for the date, the gift, the phone-call, the forgiveness, the proposal……..hope springs eternal.
Hope is dangerous at times, depending on what we hope for, and whom we put our hope in; the “fall” can be devastating. Dashed hope can call up all sorts of emotions and when we are honest, we hardly ever admit disappointment. It comes out as anger, bitterness, harsh words (that can’t be taken back), and resentment. Admitting disappointment makes us too vulnerable.
God is the only being that we can absolutely put all our hope in and never be disappointed. Oh we can be confused, we can be frustrated, we can even be angry, and God is okay with all of those things. We can even argue like spoiled children, but at the end of the day we can absolutely trust that we have a God that has never broken a promise, is always working for our good, can turn all things into something that brings Himself glory, and remains faithful to the covenant that He began so long ago and adopted us into, when we crossed the line of faith. He is the ONLY one that we can use absolutes like “always and never” on and not be exaggerating. God is Love……Love hopes all things, bears all things, believes all things…..Love never fails.
When we get right down to it, the timeline is the problem. We want what we want, when we want it and how we want it. God doesn’t work that way. God sees the big picture. God knows the beginning, the middle and the end. He works toward the end. We are usually in the “middle” and are impatient. Our hope fails. We give up. We don’t trust the promise keeper to keep His promise. We sin and stall the process, and then God in his amazing way, alters the plan, and steers it in a way that our stumbles and falls (when placed in His forgiving hands) are turned into something that can bring him glory. Beauty for ashes.
We must trust. He is unable to break His promise. It goes against his nature. It’s impossible. He who promised is faithful. We must rest in the assurance that He has our best interest (and the best interest of those we love) in mind. He is our heavenly Abba…….He loves us completely.
Put all your hope in him. Throw away your timeline. Trust your faithful God with your dreams, your children, your job, your money, and your marriage. He has never failed you yet and He never will. That is what Christmas is. It’s hope born in a manger for you and for me. Love came down to earth, put some skin on and said, “Let me do this instead of you”. Put all your hope in that basket, and you will never be disappointed.
And, just fyi…….you better believe that there was one little 9 year old girl that walked all the way to school on a new pair of shiny silver stilts!!!!
Merry Christmas everyone,