|be it ever so humble....|
Hope is an elusive conquest in the day-by-day grind of our uneven lives.
We hunt it like children chasing fireflies on steamy June evenings. Hope lights and blinks in the happy moments. It surfaces in laughter and good news from dear friends. Hope shines in lovers' eyes and a baby's first steps.
But then storms arise, our strength falters, or the unthinkable becomes our reality, and if we aren't very careful, our hope flies away before our hearts hold it securely.
This is because hope isn't meant to be held within our hearts, hidden from sight.
Hope is a house, and we must build it brick by brick. Our hope house becomes a refuge when the world offers up horror in its jagged hands. The walls keep out the winds of failure. The roof shields us from the blazing heat of man's poor judgement and the flooding rains of good-intentions-gone-bad.
We are safe when we surround ourselves with hope.
What we use to build our Hope House is for us to decide. And like the proverbial three little pigs, what we build with will determine the destiny of our house.
I have chosen to use a few select stories to build mine.
Laughing Sarah. Barren Hannah. Hagar, whom God sees. The woman at the well. Mary, blessed among women. Tales of broken women crying out and God's faithfulness grow from the pages of my Bible into beams and pillars, a foundation of hope on which I stand and lean.
A man who chooses what is better. A marriage, all healed. A child who forgives. A father full of tenderness. A heart that hides in God. These real life stories raise the walls of my hope house and give me windows through which I watch and I wait for my King.
It takes time to build a house. It may take a lifetime to see that the pages of this story we live today will end in glorious beauty. Or it may take one more day, one more week, or one more year. Time is the sacrifice all living souls have in abundance, and isn't God worthy of as many days as we can offer?
Again and again, I tell myself the stories, and my house grows larger and safer, grander and more magnificent. The sturdy walls drown out the sound of the thunder, and I smile at its lovely walls papered with these words: "Soon, soon, the light of day will dawn soon."
This is the house that hope builds. The one that whispers of help riding on the wind, of love that never ends or fails, of amazing grace we don't deserve, of faith that fails not, and of happy endings for those who wait on the Lord.
Build well, and in the end we will stand before our King and see that we have not hoped in vain.
Soon, soon. The Light of day will dawn soon, indeed.