In seasons of doubt, weariness, or fear we can borrow hope from God and our friends to help us persevere through hardship.
I am not a good borrower. There always seems to be an unfortunate set of events when I borrow items that belong to family, friends, or neighbors. I lean toward going without rather than borrowing an item because when I borrow an item, the item breaks before I return it. Whenever I borrow a book, coffee spills onto the cover. Whenever I borrow a sweater, I eat spaghetti and a stain ruins the garment.
Borrow Hope from God
Rev. Kathy Escobar shares in her book A Weary World that we need to borrow hope from God and others to see us through weary seasons of life.
I have used the word ‘borrow’ with tangible items such as borrowing a pencil but not with concepts such as borrowing hope. When we borrow things, there are at least three components:
Asking for the item
Completing the task
Returning the item.
We Were Designed to Depend on One Another
Perhaps, what we really dislike about borrowing is asking for the item. In the asking, we admit we lack something when we rather be seen in the light of having everything together. When we turn to God and others for help, we realize we were designed to depend on one another. Each time we ask and seek, we grow a little wiser and experience love a little deeper.
Perhaps, the difficulty in borrowing is the required follow-up. We may have enough energy in preparing, asking, and completing the task, but putting things back in their place or returning may be too much.
Borrow With Gratitude
The best way to follow up and return a borrowed item is with gratitude.
We let a friend know the devotional they sent us started our day off better than we had hoped.
We tell a colleague that their words spoken long ago directed us down a clearer path than we had hoped.
We write a thank-you card for a family heirloom, which passed down hope through the generations.
Borrow from Scripture
In Matthew, we see hope appear even before a formal request. Joseph borrows hope from an Angel that appears in a dream leading him to take Mary as his wife and to name his son Jesus.
“Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way…an angel of the Lord appeared to him [Joseph] in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
“Which means, “God is with us.” (Matthew 1:18-25 NRSV)
In Seasons of Doubt Borrow Hope
In seasons of doubt, weariness or fear, hope may appear from an angel giving directions in a dream, a friend leaving encouragement on your doorstep, or a memory while listening to a song that motivates you toward persevering in a hardship.
After the angel spoke to Joseph, Matthew includes words from the prophecies of Isaiah that a child would be born to a virgin and named the child Emmanuel – meaning God with Us.
We believe in a God who is with us. A God, who stands beside us in the hard times and rejoices with us in the good times. We know a God does not abandon us, even when we abandon him. Because of this truth, God knows what we lack. God knows what we need to borrow even before we ask.
Let us borrow hope this week by striving to remain present with a God whose love will never let us go.
Today’s guest writer is Rev. April H. Cranford. Discover her heart to “Match Mission with Joy” on her website, https://www.aprilhcranford.com/.