Sunday, July 28, 2013

Hoping For vs. Hoping In

I'm a sucker for details.

If you're telling a story around me and I know that something didn't happen exactly the way you're telling it, it's hard for me not to correct you. I will make sure everyone knows that it wasn't ten monkeys that jumped on your back, but it was only two... (which, in my mind, doesn't make the story any less cool...but factual). 

Because I think the facts matter. 
Semantics matter. 
And sometimes I have a double standard about this (like, why can't people know what I'm trying to say without me having to always say exactly what I mean...?)

Recently I've been in an ongoing conversation with a friend about hope. Granted, texting and facebook messages aren't the best way to get your point across or expound upon what you're trying to say in the most accurate fashion... but I've been trying to distinguish between hoping for and hoping in. I think the two are different. Very different. 

I hope for a lot of things. 

I hope for world peace, for the end of hunger, for no more pain and suffering. I hope for people to be honest, to live with integrity, to love each other well. I hope for good health, for success, for my pants to not get any smaller. I hope for someone to buy my bed before I move, I hope for Felicity to somehow choose Noel in the end, I hope for the last time I eat Nick's Roast Beef to be just as good as the first time I ate it.  

I hope for a lot of things. 
And I'm disappointed a lot. 
My disappointment often turns to cynicism... no, not because I can't change the outcome of a television show, but because life isn't perfect. People aren't perfect. There is still pain and suffering, and there are still tears left to cry. Life is filled with the unthinkable, the unimaginable... and oftentimes, despair begins to patch up the places where the hope has been crushed. 

But somehow I still hope for things. I haven't lost that. Even on the lowest, darkest days... I still hope for better. 

And I think it's only possible because of what I hope in
I hope for a lot of things. 
But I hope in One. 

Because, at the end of the day, there's still Jesus. There's still joy to be found in Him. There's still ultimate hope that this world is never how it was intended to be. That even when I'm shattered because of how the things I hope for don't always work out the way I want or the way I think that they should... there's a greater Someone that I hope in, and because of that, hope can always be restored. 

Because Jesus means second chances. Jesus means redemption. Jesus means love. Jesus means that even when nothing makes sense, that there's still order to the chaos. Jesus means life when I deserve death. Jesus means the lame can walk, the blind can see, the poor are no longer hungry, the broken are made whole. Jesus means that hope is restored. 

But it's not easy. 
It's not always this easy solution to the hard times, to the crushing blows on my ideals, to the disappointment when people (including myself) fail again and again and again. But it's still there. The reminder that what I hope in...who I hope in...doesn't change, even if what I hope for doesn't always manifest itself in the way I deem most fitting. 

Let's not get so lost in the cynicism that develops when what we hope for doesn't always work that we lose sight of who we hope in. 

There's a difference. 
But let us not stop hoping for things, either. And even when there's disappointment at the end of that hope? I pray that we are so rooted in what we hope in that we continue to believe the unthinkable can happen...that even the most unlikely people would surprise us in the best ways, that even the biggest problems would have resolutions. 

And in the end? 
Let us fix our eyes, instead, on what is unseen... the eternal. 

The perspective shift.. 

If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” --C.S. Lewis 

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