It was just a very full pipe stand.
My first thought was how much they reminded me of my Dad…my second was, “Ewwww…that’s kinda gross…think of the mouths that have been on those!” (ever the mother)
Recently I went antique shopping with a friend. I love looking at all the beautiful things, the knick-knacks, and the oddities of by-gone eras. It’s very much a treasure hunt.
It’s a joy to meander through packed little shops filled with old jugs that remind me of the hillbilly band The Darlings on The Andy Griffith Show, teacups and pots that make me want to host a tea party as soon as possible, furniture that I know would look lovely in my home, and musty, yellowed books that are just begging to be read again.
Shopping this time seemed more somber. Every shop offered a reminder of my dad. A pipe, some Army paraphernalia, an antique clock ticking and donging, a toy car, history books, and it seemed like a hundred other things.
I didn’t feel like sitting down and weeping. I just felt a little bit heavy-hearted.
Until the past couple of years I wouldn’t have ever used the word melancholy to describe myself.
I think I would now.
At least this particular definition: “Sober thoughtfulness; pensiveness” (Dictionary.com)
That’s better than the few months after my husband left when I could be found weeping at stoplights and crying in my closet.
Now it’s more of a sigh. It’s healing from deep sorrow.
The loss of my husband and my father…of my marriage and life as I knew it has been so so so difficult.
There was a time when I just wanted to replace the missing piece in my family. Just find a godly man and plug him in! That’d be the perfect solution to my problem. Insta-fix.
There is no instant fix to this life. We cannot always regain what was lost. In divorce or death there is no going back to life before sorrow and its effects.
But there is moving forward.
There is hope.
Hope is a funny word.
Sometimes my hope is lacking.
Hopeless hope. Know what I mean?
Hoping but not believing.
I thought maybe that was a crazy thing until I looked up hope in Lawrence O. Richards, Expository Dictionary of Bible Words. The author said that when we use the word hope we usually mean something wavering and doubtful. That’s exactly what I mean!
But the Bible doesn’t ever use the word hope in an uncertain way. Our hope is not in things here but the certainty of future things. We can be encouraged, blessed, and comforted by the beautiful life to come.
But meanwhile there’s this life…
I believe maybe the problem is that I’m not hoping in the right thing?
I’m hoping that my circumstances will change. Hoping that I will change. Hoping that my kids will change. Hoping that people who have disappointed me will change.
Hoping in restoration. Hoping in a fix.
I’m thinking my definition of hope is not exactly right so I looked up hope.
There are a fair number of verses with the word hope in them and reading them was convicting.
I wrote down most of them, all but 2 I think. God has shown me some things about hope.
He is my hope and the focus of my hope.
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth Psalm 71:5
Are there any among the false gods of the nations that can bring rain? Or can the heavens give showers? Are you not he, O LORD our God? We set our hope on you, for you do all these things. Jeremiah 14:22
For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:10
Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.” Job 13:15
I just had to include that last part…because it’s me. Right now I’m a big arguer with God. Job was a mess and Job’s life was a mess – and even though he understood God could be trusted he still struggled with the way things were…with his circumstances.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for he who promised is faithful. Hebrew 10:23
My hope is for now and later.
But I will hope continually and I will praise you yet more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day for their number is past my knowledge. Psalm 71:14-15
He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us.
On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. 2 Corinthians 1:10
My hope is centered in Jesus
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:13
He who was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God. 1 Peter 1:20-21
Even though hope is something I don’t think I’ve completely grasped, I sure love it!
How can you not smile when you think of hope!?!
I pray that God will give us a vision of what we have in Him…what a hope we have for His strength to keep us, His wisdom to guide us, His love to comfort and heal us, and His blessings to well…bless us!
And of what a glorious inheritance He has for us and what a beautiful eternal home He is preparing us!
Now that’s something to hope in!
Next time I’m antiquing I’m going to think about the honorable life my father lived and the beautiful place he is now!
How we’ll share heaven together!
And when the circumstances of this life get me down, I’ll remind myself that there is hope…even if I don’t necessarily feel it, I KNOW it!
That’s hopeful hope!
MY HOPE IS BUILT
by Edward Mote
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.