Misplaced Hope

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Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame.

Isaiah 49:23

Over the years, I have put my hope in a number of things that let me down. I used to spend time hoping I could make the grades my parents needed to see me and not my lacking and still accept me. That hope didn’t pan out.

I spent 23 years hoping the man I called my husband would love me and our daughters enough to come home to us. Every night I would make big, family dinners, set it out on the table in hope that he would be there and join us for dinner and spend the evening with us. Almost every night, when I cleaned up the table and the dishes, I would feel a great deal of shame. Shame that I had hoped once again; shame that I couldn’t change the situation. When would I stop hoping for the impossible? He would promise to come home the next night and the next but seldom was he able to keep those promises.  Between the making of the promise and the breaking of the promise was a hard day at work and a bar called the Rainbow.

I have heard it said that hope makes the heart grow fonder, but I don’t get that. Perhaps, if the hope had been placed properly that would be true. But misplace hope makes the heart grow bitter – at least, that’s what it did for me.

I wish I had turned to God more during those times. I wish my hope had been more securely placed on God’s word and not on a man who couldn’t keep a promise.

Greater than the shame of continuing to have my hopes dashed by an man who would not keep his promises to his family was the shame of knowing that if I had placed my hope only on God’s word, on His character, on His love, maybe, just maybe, healing would have come sooner for all of us.

I can’t go back and change that or anything for that matter, I can only today and every day from now on, place my hope in the One True God, the One who never breaks a promise and never brings me shame. To my family, I say I am sorry, please forgive me.

Lord, forgive me for all the times I have placed my hope in other people. Hope that should have been placed only in You. Would You bring Your healing to my family and my ex and restore to them for the years the locust have eaten?  Would You minister to their deepest point of need and kindle a spark of hope in them where bitterness may reside? Thank You for being a solid, secure place for me to dwell. Love on my family, would You please and where there needs to be forgiveness, would You start that process?  In the name of my Savior, Amen.

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