Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hope in the Hustle

I rolled out of bed at 6:07am. We're seeing some improvement, people. Yes, we are.

However, it is now 10:20pm, and I'm just now getting to the blogging part of the day. Oh well.

Today God has been reminding me to hope, even in the hustle, even in famine, even in the hunkering down.

I'm going to write some verses here. Bear with me.

From Genesis 12:

(1) God told Abram, "Leave your country, your family, and your father's home for a land I will show you." 
(4) So Abram left just as God said. 

[Abram arrives at the Promised Land]
(7) God appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your children.” Abram built an altar at the place God had appeared to him.
(10) Then a famine came to the land. Abram went down to Egypt to live; it was a hard famine. 


God told Abram to go. And Abram, in his amazing faith, picked up his wife and home and followed a new God to an unknown land. No questions. No doubt. No complaining. 

And when he got there? Famine. And not just any famine, a "hard famine." 

Can I just say, my heart twists up inside itself when I read that verse. Because I have been there. I have looked at life and said, "God called me here. And now there's famine in the land."

It's backwards. It doesn't make sense. 

But then we keep reading. (I'll sum up the next part.) 

Abram and his wife Sarai go to Egypt. Abram is scared he'll be killed because his wife is so beautiful. So he lies and says she's his sister. Pharaoh takes wife. Pharaoh is cursed.  Pharaoh learns the truth and is all, "What the heck, Abe? Why'd you lie like that? Take your wife and your junk and get outta town, yo!" 

Then Pharaoh gives them a booty-load of riches and sends them on their way. Back to the land God promised. 

Now this next part is pure speculation on my part, but as I read this passage, Abram's choices make sense to me. At least, I can understand where he might be coming from. 

He faithfully followed God into a land wrought with famine. If this God wouldn't protect him from that, who's to say he would protect him from a jealous, lusty Pharaoh? So Abram took matters into his own hands (a pattern we see over and over in his life, by the way). 

I get that. I understand self-preservation when God is clearly not following through on His promises. I have been there.  

But here's the thing. The famine drove them to Egypt, which lead them to Pharaoh, who gave them a gazillion dollars just to leave his country - to return to the Promised Land. (Ok, so I'm not sure it was exactly a gazillion, and I'm pretty sure they didn't have dollars. But you get my point.)

I guess what I'm saying is this, to you, to myself: don't lose hope in the famine. Don't lose hope when your faith falters. Don't lose hope when you take things into your own hands and royally screw everything up. Don't lose hope when you're afraid. Don't lose hope when God isn't fulfilling His promises. 

Because our God uses the famine. He uses the screw ups. He uses the fear. And He. Keeps. His. Promises. Above and beyond what we can imagine.

So tonight I'm going to bed, later than I should and with a list of unfinished tasks awaiting me in the morning. Regardless, I'm ending the day with this thought: I have hope for tomorrow. Hope for my future. And hope to see God's promises fulfilled. 

Goodnight, y'all. Keep on hustlin'.

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The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood