Hope is holding on when there is no resolution.

Dearest Reader,

In the next four weeks, we will take a short break from Ezra. I will be sharing Essays From A Chronic Life centered around advent: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love.

Essays From A Chronic Life will be short essays with Scripture, notes from my journal, and short prayers. I hope you will join me as we move toward the celebration of the birth of our Savior: Immanuel, God With Us.

Advent: the arrival of a noteable person, thing, or event

Hope: The First Week of Advent

This time last year, we held hope with hands wrapped tightly around the unseen. We white-knuckled the what if’s, and uncertainties.

And this year, this year, we are simultaneously holding grief and joy. Grief and joy sifting through our hands, taking turns, one outweighing the other in the moments of our day.

It’s holding on when there is no resolution.

No ending on the horizon. Holy God moving us from the unholy hard into sacred places; holy places with him.

We have hope in the unseen.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV)

Through the invisible image of God is where hope is found. When the invisible is made visible in the Word of God. With the tangible things of creation: 

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1 (ESV)

Also, in the Word of God:

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 (ESV)

The promise of Heaven is hope before us. It’s the foundation on which we stand when all around is shaking.

Earlier, I wrote the following words in my journal:

“Lord, you are giving me your words as preperation. I feel it in the depth of my soul. At this moment, I am grieving and yet I am filled with joy. The two shift in my heart moment by moment. It is only You, and you alone that can do such a thing in me. I cannot find joy in my grief. Joy is found only in your presence and steadfast love.”

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” Psalm 39:7 (ESV)

As we move through Advent to the wee baby in a manger who holds us in his hand, where are you finding hope?

Finally, Dearest One, I leave you with a prayer of hope: 

A Prayer of Hope

Lord, we come confessing, without you there is no hope.

You are our hope, our steadfast love.

You take our hopelessness from unholy hard and into sacred places with you.

Holy God, You turn our mourning into dancing.

Catch our tears in a bottle.

You mend our hearts.

You, O Lord, are Living Hope.

Above all else, you are

Immanuel, God With Us.

Amen

Lastly, I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness. You can comment below or send a private email to tlmashburn@yahoo.com.

Your Wilderness Guide,

 

*In January we will pick up with Ezra, chapter seven. Until then, you can catch up here.

*Scripture quotes are from Bible.com

PS: Catch my in-depth teaching: What We Have In Common With the Disciples from Mark 8!!

If you have been following my Instagram Stories, by now, you’ve heard about the H.E.A.R. Method and H.E.A.R. Journal. I would love to have you join me on this journey. The H.E.A.R. Method of studying the Bible has taken me more in-depth than ever before! If you would like to learn more email me at tlmashburn@yahoo.com 

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today.

“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word