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.   DSCN0281

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

About Wise Hearted

As the heading of my posts, I desire to be wisehearted in all that I do. I, along with my husband are Member Care reps for New Tribes Mission, serving in 6 southwest states. We have served in two countries, Bolivia, South America then later in Papua New Guinea. I love the phrase, "Life is in Christ" because the years I searched for life were the most frustrating of my 69 years. At 35 an aggressive soul wining church knocked on our door. They shared the pure gospel, and after a few weeks of wrestling with my old sinful nature, I accept God's grace through His Son for me. Life has been an adventure since them, every day expecting God to more in my life so I can help others learn Life is in Christ. My husband and I have two children and six grand children and live in southern California.
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2 Responses to Hope Street

  1. Susan P says:

    Well, that one got me good. My husband hasn’t had a stable job since we moved to Florida and though God has supplied our needs I still keep longing for him to have a job where he is respected and is paid according to his abilities. Hasn’t happened yet. Come to think of it, it never has happened. We started out our marriage overseas with a mission that paid its workers the lowest amount of salary on the field. But we’ve never had to go without a meal. We’ve always had shelter.

    We’re in that no one in this family has a job place yet again. My emotions are all over the map most days. We have no set schedule as my husband is working very part time at four different places. It’s uncomfortable for us both. I want security and he wants a regular schedule – same thing, really.

    I think I’ll start asking Jesus what he wants.

  2. Great post, thank you for stopping by my place. This really made me think about some of my own dreams and maybe put some things in perspective. I love that. I’m keeping the AW Tozer quote. It is wonderful. Blessings to you on Hope St.

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