by Christine Sine

by Sue Duby

When friends ask me if I’m a morning or night person, I’m used to letting out a sigh with a wink and smile…”Actually, neither one! I just like to sleep!”. It must be in the gene pool. Krista and Peter both blessed me as a young Mama with 3-hour naps. I’m grateful for the gift of sleeping deep and hard most nights, though waking can be a determined choice!

These days, as I move through relaxed morning pre-coffee fog, it hits me. . . again. . . just like the movie Groundhog Day. . . and my senses sharpen realizing it’s still here. This crazy season of isolation, masks, opening up, mixed directives and missing hanging out with friends and family. Each day, I’m expectantly waiting for a gentle reminder that He’s present, in the midst and not surprised.

This morning heading for the kitchen, my eye fixed on a Mother’s Day gift from years ago. A painted frame of text, with colors that just happened to match my favorite chair. I knew I had my focus for the day.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him… Romans 15:13

Wow… just a bit of pondering and I could sense the challenge to embrace a shift in focus. From news, statistics and predictions that induce worry, to simple truth that produces a lighter step and smile. Back to some basics that lead to light-hearted wake-up mornings!

  • God IS the God of hope. The very author and anchor of hope. The one who makes it possible for us to have “favorable and confident expectation; happy anticipation of the good” (Strong’s) even with an unseen future.
  • God desires to FILL us. So somehow, though I need to listen, follow and obey, He is the one to gift that hope, joy and peace to me. I can’t muster it up on my own. I picture an empty jar (me) and God holding a pitcher of hope, ready to pour it and fill me.
  • The nature of His hope (not my own created version) releases joy and peace in that filling. His hope is certain, powerful and alive.
  • In the midst, I do have one task to do. All of the above happens “as you trust in Him”. An ongoing, journeying kind of task… “as you trust”. . . along the way, in each moment, with each step. Believing He is able. Knowing His desire is to “load-lift” and bring me gladness of heart, because He loves me. Choosing trust as my stance before Him, with Him.

Paul goes further to remind us that God’s not only in the business of taking care of my heart. Rather, this amazing God of Hope fills us, “so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit”. Purpose in the gift, not just for myself, but for all those around me.

Picture that same pitcher filled to the brim and spilling over. The slightest bump and more comes forth. For those He brings near. In conversation. In prayer for others. As I write a note to a friend or send a text to my kids. A sprinkling, even soaking of hope, joy and peace (all His). In my trusting and believing who He is… that amazing God of Hope. He does the filling, that allows the spilling over.

What a refreshing delight to think that our lives can be “hope, joy and peace spillers” in the midst of crazy uncertainty! Lord, show us how to daily receive a fresh filling from You, the God of Hope, so that all that You are might spill over from our lives to others. With gladness of heart and gratefulness for who You are. To encourage others in their journeys, as You have in mine.

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