Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Where Did My Hope Go?
Anxiety rises as fear threatens to destroy our hope. We become afraid of an objectionable outcome. We want what we want … without problems … and we want it now. We pray, but fear of the undesirable causes a cold paralysis of our faith and seizes our prayers. Thankfulness, in all circumstances, is certainly fleeting.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12)
Hope offers the promise of something better. We hope for no pain, no problems. But can we hope for God’s plan, regardless of the outcome we will experience?
Gracie’s is holding up her right rear leg while she runs on the remaining three legs. My mind panics as I imagine the worst. Has she torn her ACL? What will life look like with this injury? With those anxious thoughts, fear grips my heart.
Our border collie/lab mix is my buddy. She and I take walks, go to the dog park, run errands, and snuggle together.
One of Gracie’s favorite games is to run the perimeter of our privacy-fenced yard. Since she can’t see who is walking on the other side of the fence, she runs parallel to the sound of walkers. At the end of the property, she jumps against the fence with a thud as if to say: “there, I know you walked by.” Is this intense running and turning how she injured her leg?
Fear of the vet’s possible diagnosis clutches my heart. I don’t want to hear the worst because I will be disappointed. No, I will be shattered. More tears roll down my cheeks. Anxiety enters. Fear destroys my hope. My peace is shaken.
Putting on my brave face, I told her (Yes, I talk to my Gracie like a person.) that I’d be taking her to the vet tomorrow. In the meantime, she must rest that leg. That exerting herself to these limits has put a kink in her active lifestyle. I further explained to her that while she doesn’t understand why we are curbing her activity, she simply must trust us that we are acting in her best interest.
As my advice to Gracie left my mouth, it suddenly struck me. Perhaps this is a good example of God and me. I don’t understand why He won’t allow me to partake of certain activities. Could it be that He cares so deeply for me, and that His plan is better than mine? Sometimes God limits me so that He can act in my best interest.
At this moment, trusting God is very difficult. However, God wrote Gracie’s and my stories. As the author of our lives, He has everything under control. Understanding God’s plan was never part of His promise. He did promise to give me peace that will transcend my understanding and guard my heart if I will talk to Him and thank Him.
It’s tomorrow. The vet said Gracie’s injury is not located even close to her ACL. She has a very slight fracture near her foot. Resting her foot, as we have already been doing, is the correct action. She will be on a leash-only regimen for three weeks. My heart was pounding with joy, and tears of thankfulness rolled down my face.
A Tighter Bond
As I pondered these events, I realized God used this opportunity to cultivate a tight bond between us. This bond, founded in experiential knowledge of His love, develops deeper trust for the future.
I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 31:13b-14)
What storms are you facing? Is anxiety and fear destroying your hope? Feel free to leave a comment below and I will be happy to partner with you in prayer.
Yesterday’s fear has been transformed into tomorrow’s satisfaction with God’s goodness.