In the car, I dim the music and I pray about promises.
Yesterday’s message was on welcoming God, on learning to trust His promises. I seek to answer the question, “Is there a promise from God that I need to trust?”
“I will restore your joy.”
“I will comfort you.”
“You will grow.”
I’m praying off-the-cuff, spouting words to my steering wheel, to the silver Chevy Malibu who sneaks into my lane.
I ask God to teach us to hope.
TEACH us to hope? They’re my words I’ve spoken, but still I’m surprised.
It’s a prayer I don’t think I’ve uttered before, or a least not often.
Those requests spill from my lips, almost of their own volition. But never teach us to HOPE.
I’ve prayed those lines before. God is the one with the hope; we are passive recipients.
I’ve never viewed hope as a discipline to be learned.
All this while, all this year, I’ve been caught between expectation and entitlement, wondering which promises to cling to, discerning if anything has been promised at all. I’ve been finagling my way to some kind of spiritually mature sense of hope for the future and trust in His promises.
I never thought to ask Him how. To ask Him to teach me.
I’ve sensed Him telling me to choose joy and to choose to trust, whether or not I feel hopeful.
As I dodge brake lights, exit the freeway, I sense the missing piece, the forgotten discipline, the unanswered command:
“Learn hope,” He whispers. “Let me teach you.”
Yes, Father, I want to learn.