I feel like I'm holding my breath.
Maybe the whole world feels that way? 2016 seemed pretty bleak on the world stage and we all waited for a fresh start in 2017. But, now 2017 is breathing its last--and some of us are wishing the same. Let's turn the page, let's get to something better, let's get to where the hope is.
But, I'm just saying what we already know deep down to be true. The hope is here, right now. We don't have any earthly hope other than what we have in this moment. We have Jesus. We have breath in our lungs. We (hopefully) have the food we need and a warm place to rest. This is what we were told to expect.
We are cared for and provided for, and we have hope because the very Spirit of God lives within us. I'm not hoping for a better 2018 as far as the world goes. But, I'm hoping to know Jesus more and better in 2018, and that's enough for me. If He can change me, He can change the world. And, not because He'll change me and then I'll change the world. No. It's just in the believing that He's big enough and good enough to do it.
I've been writing a lot this fall about the idea that we don't truly believe what we say we believe. We don't embody the truths that we say we buy into. We don't let the Good News sink down from our head to our hearts and into our bones through lived experience with the living Christ.
The only way to get there...from point A to point B in your faith is to walk it with Jesus. Every day, day in and day out. Giving thanks on the glorious days. Giving thanks on the days you wish you'd never had. Begging for help when you think you can provide for yourself, and believing God will actually help when there seems to be no other way.
The hope. It's here. It's Jesus. You can have Him way before the ball drops and we cheer on 2018. He's here! He was born 2000 years ago, a tiny baby boy just like the four sons I cradled in my own arms. He was poor and needy and defenseless, that was not an act. He had to rely on the provision of the Father, too. That's how He came to know His Father. Daily reliance, daily submission, daily intimacy.
That's how we come to know our Father who is in Heaven better, too. We rely on Him, even when our flesh says "nah, I'm alright." We submit, even when it feels unnecessary, over the top, or uncalled for. And, we hold tight to Him, we stay near Him, we enjoy Him.
This is my hope for you, for me, in 2018. That you'd hold tight to God, needing Him ever more, all the time, and enjoying Him more than you thought possible.