Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hope Street

 This post has been sitting on my back burner for a while boiling over every time I read something on hope.   Here goes..........
Returning back to the states after serving overseas carries its own stress. Where to live was one of the biggest and to rent or buy was another.     Right after moving into our rented condo I started walking in the neighbor and was delighted to find a street named, Hope St.   
My  thinking  in the beginning was:  I will use this time walking on Hope St. to place my hopes and dreams before the Lord and see what He will do.   Oh the visions that danced in my head as I passed each modest house on my walk.  To see a “for sale” sign would cause me to rush home and give my husband the number of the real estate company.   Every time they were way over what we could afford but that did not stop me from hoping and dreaming.  It wasn’t long before I put this thought  before the Lord…a three bedroom house would be perfect God, we could  house missionaries needing a place to
stay when traveling through.  Oh yeah Lord, a small yard would be real nice for the grandchildren to play in. What wonderful way to give back what others have given us through the years.   I can envision it, Lord, CAN YOU?  And could you hurry up Lord while the market is down?  (some would call that manipulation. )
A visionary is described as one having unusual foresight and imagination or one having unrealistic dreams.  
As a visionary I have bounced between the two definitions a lot of my life.  In my mind I have not been able to see how hoping for our own home could be unrealistic…UNLESS GOD  had something better in store for me.  Today reading through my   lesson on contentment for this week, one statement brought a break through to my  heart.
Here is the whole paragraph in the book, Calm My Anxious Heart but Linda Dillow.   (When a woman looks for contentment in material possessions, the “thing” she wants pull her deeper and deeper into discontentment.   That for which she longs gradually becomes that to which she belongs. )   Each time I read this another layer of discontentment was revealed till I was deep in my heart where the  Holy Spirit was waiting for me to park a while.  I knew I was becoming discontented by how I was trying to make things happen in my own hope. 
Here is how my  discontentment rose to the surface when I tried to take matters into my own hands to obtain my dreams of a house and a few other things.   I bought a one dollar lottery ticket…I mean someone has to win, right? 
The visionary went to work thinking, if I won we could really have a reunion  when our daughter and family comes home from overseas. We could rent a  huge retreat house on the beach with mountains as the back drop, a bedroom for everyone, riding horses on the beach, extra money to do anything we wanted.      New clothes , ipads, new cars, toys galore for the grandchildren, eating  out every night, a house for everyone to go home to, Disneyland for a week and the list goes on and on.    
I was beginning to be owned by my hopes and dreams which started with a simple three bedroom house with a back yard.  Discontentment left to itself was taking me out to the sea of “Never Enough”.  In truth, I was beginning to be owned by my hope for material procession.  Trust me when I say, God has supplied all our needs, there is nothing I need at the moment so He has done His part over and above as always.  Looking at my needs will manifest a thankful heart whereas looking at what I hope for will usually  bring discontentment.  Hope deferred makes a heart sick.  Proverbs 13:12
A.W. Tozer says it best:  There is within the human heart a tough fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets “things” with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns “my” and “mine” look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do. They are verbal symptoms of our deep disease. The roots of our hearts have grown down into things, and we dare not pull up one rootlet lest we die. Things have become necessary to us. . . God’s gifts now take the place of God.
So often we ask God to endorse our own dreams, hopes and passions.  Scripture has commanded us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Christ in dying to self.  We are to hope in:  His will...His word...His life...not our own.
 Self-indulgent "hope" is on "sifting sand" and really no hope at all.  C. S. Lewis
This much I know for sure.  If I had not repented from my self-indulgent hopes our time with our family would have been made miserable by my discontentment. 

 I still walk on "Hope Street" but I am more aware of the people who lives in the houses then the houses themselves now.   And today I met a lady watching her dog run around in her front yard.   Looking forward to talking to her again as I continue to walk on Hope Street.

                          Would love to hear your thoughts on "self-indulgent hope.


  1. I like the Tozer quote!
    "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." 1 Corinthians 13:7

  2. Andre, thanks for stopping by. Love that does bear all things, believes all things, and endures all things.

    Praying for you two. It such a blessing to see your love for each other every time I am around you two.

  3. You've hit on a subject that we're all familiar with. We all fight this fight and lose more often than I'd like to admit.
    "That for which she longs gradually becomes that to which she belongs." That statement is wisdom manifested. As scripture says, "We can't serve two masters." The material things of this world that we set out to gather and own end up owning us, things become our master and the worldly possessions heavy burden and a ever increasing yoke about our necks.

    Awesome post, lesson, and reminder that the greatest treasures on this earth are the ones within us... the only treasures that make it through to the next realm.

  4. Floyd, took me a while to put this one together...had to work through the layers to get at the core. But I love how once it is out there then I am compelled to live up to the truth that I knew but disobeyed. There is no wisdom that stick unless we walk it and sometimes it take little reminders such as a 1 dollar lottery ticket to reminds us. Thanks for the thoughtful comments. Value your impute.

  5. Hi Betty! Thank you for coming on over to my blog today! I am always happy to meet new blog friends :)

    What an interesting concept, 'indulgent hope.' I am thinking you mean the hope for something that you want, vs what God may want. In that case, oh my, I am sure I do that all the time. My husband is out of work (for over a year now) and I keep praying for opportunity for him. I guess that's not what the Lord has in mind right now.

    Surrender is a tough concept and really hard to do for me. I think that's what he wants me to do.

    Thoughtful post today!

  6. Ceil, so sorry about no job for your husband...that's a tough one.
    You read it right...I know wanting a house is not sin, it's my pursing it in my own power. I find surrender hard also. I know God uses the everyday things to conform us and our trust in Him is all He wants and sometimes He will use the trials to bring this about. He certainly did not cause your husband to lose his job, He is not the author of bad things. Thanks for stopping by...will be praying for you and check back on your site for wisdom.

  7. Wonderful lessons Betty. As I read I kept going to that old saying about how we can live so long without air and so long without food, but we couldn't live a second without hope. Hope is good but as you put it so well, it was never meant to become an idol. Thanks for words of wisdom.

  8. You are so right Bill, hope vital for life. I have met too many who are sick because what ever they hoped for did not come about. Like I said this thing on hope has been boiling in me a while. I am not disappointed I do not have "my own house", but thankful I have a roof over my head. Thanks for stopping by...always value your comment.

  9. I thought I'd share this even though I feel a bit vulnerable doing so. My husband and I had planned to adopt, but really it was me who wanted to. he dragged his feet. I said God wanted us to, but it really was all me. In the end, that hope and want was something that God was not calling us to was just me and my hopes and dreams. It's not bad to have those, I think, but to put it before what God is telling you. I feel I ignored any kind of reasoning for my wants. Anyway, it fell through and I still feel bad about it sometimes. I feel embarrassed by it really because our family knew of our plans, our friends knew. So it humbled me. But, I also realized God was protecting me. A year later we found our oldest had special needs. I have been dealing with constant issues -- hair loss, fatigue, depression, and recently I had the worst incident of vertigo and ended up in the ER. I also threw out my back, but thankfully that is much better 2 years later. My point is that had we adopted, I would have been even more stressed out. I would have even more responsibilities. And I would have been possibly regretting the decision, even bitter. So God knows. He knows us so well. I'm sure there are other reasons as to why God does things the way He does, but I'm learning to trust in them.

  10. I agree with you and the wise lessons you shared about true hope. As I age, I realize that this life is so temporary and my priorities change. So your post really encouraged me. Beautiful things are good and blessings, but as Joyce Meyer says "If you have a family, you are rich!" Love the scriptures. And thank you, too, Betty for your kind words of compassion on my blog post.

  11. Jesus is our Blessed Hope, all else is dreams and desires. May we hold our possessions loosely so that if they are removed, we can say, my hope is in Christ not in what I have.

  12. Check out your dashboard for a "follow by E-Mail" to add to your side bar. Or did I miss something?

  13. Thanks "theflowerfalls" whose name I think is Debbie. Please correct me if I am wrong. Thanks for stopping by my site and for your being so open about your life. They always say hindsight is perfect. I think it helps build trust in our life.

    It sounds like there is a lot on your plate, your health, your son, enough to be stressed out.

    I always think about how Sarah took things into our own hands telling Abramham to take her slave. There is nothing new under the sun is there. God had another child for designed to draw you close to Him. In one way or another we all have special needs people all around us, it may be us that is one. I am grateful for friends that are willing to speak truth into my life and love me even when I am trying to control things. Nice to meet you my sister. I really like the honest way you write so I will be back on your site some.

  14. Mary, you are so right, just to have family makes me rich. It's my human love that wants to give them so much and God has already given us more then most have. Blessings my wise blog friend.

  15. Hazel, thanks for the "look into advice". Honesty I did not even notice, you are the only one who said anything. I am going to switch to Wordpress as soon as I can get someone to sit down beside me and walk me through some things. I like my blog look, want the same banner, it was made for me by my niece. I have a learning disability that makes it hard for me to follow written instruction but learn well with hands on.

    Thanks for your comment...always love it when you visit my site. Believe you have a lot of wisdom.

  16. "That for which she longs gradually becomes that to which she belongs"

    This really grabbed me. What is it that I am choosing to belong to?
    Things to ponder on this Sunday.

    I am glad I came to visit you today. You had written on my blog that I have for fun writing a few months back. I welcome you to visit my more active blog sometime.

  17. Hi Betty, thank you for dropping by my site Looking forward to 'see' you back. Glad to find your site, too!

  18. Your post makes me say, "Ouch".

    My dad was a big dreamer but I don't think he was unhappy or discontent. While he was a dreamer, he was also a giver. He wasn't attached to his possessions, he gave them as freely as he received them from God.

    My mom (and my husband) are "realistic" AKA, negative nelly's at times.

    I've been dreaming of a bigger home. And to be honest, it is causing some discontentment in me. Thank you for pointing this out to me. I think I'll print your post so I can re-read it from time to time.

    I do believe God is generous- He's already given me more than I could ever have imagined- but I need to trust Him and stop trying to MAKE things happen.

    Thanks so much!

  19. Betty,

    Oh, that discontent is so easy to slip into without meaning to, huh? Good job for seeing it in yourself, and having God help to root it out. I've been calling myself on it some days too. Thanks.

    I'm so curious to hear what organization your church is talking about that fights human trafficking on the 27th. Let me know, will you?

    Have a great trip. Thanks for stopping in.

    Jennifer Dougan

  20. "So often we ask God to endorse our own dreams, hopes and passions." I am guilty of planning my life out according to my will and expecting God to nod His head in agreement and work everything out according to my plan. How arrogant. As if I could ever imagine I really know what is best for me.

    I would like to live on Hope St. I pray I can live my life as if I did.