Hope: Week One – Day Four

From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. – Isaiah 64:4 (NRSV)

What a mysterious passage! This verse sets up an interesting theological idea. The first half of the verse talks about how amazing and powerful God is. From generation to generation there has never been anyone more marvelous than our God. God is the creator of the world and Savior of all humankind.

This week in Advent, we are focusing on the spiritual discipline of hope. Being good at hope (and yes, you can be good at hope) means you must have two things: patience and Imagination. Consider what it means to be patient. Nobody hopes for things they already have, rather we have to wait for the things we are hoping for. Verse four says that God only works for those who wait on Him, not the people who rush to get things done their own way. But we shouldn’t just sit around waiting for God to work without any idea of what we are looking for.

Think about it this way: there was once a little girl who was participating in a scavenger hunt. As she wandered through the yard she got more and more upset because she couldn’t find any of the clues that her parents hid for her. Finally, she gave up and asked for help. When her brother came over, he easily found one of the clues and handed it to the little girl. She was shocked! The little girl had walked past the clue a dozen times, but she didn’t realize that’s what she was supposed to be looking for. She lacked the imagination to see what was right in front of her. Today’s passage calls us to practice hope with patience and imagination. We are not supposed to wait around doing nothing and expecting God to act. We must remember what our God is like and then live into the expectation of what God will do. Take time today to ask God for the right combination of patience and imagination.

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