Prisoner of Hope

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“Return to your fortress, O prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.” Zechariah 9:12

I am a prisoner—a prisoner of hope. Both professionally and personally I’m in the midst of long waits, and not long ago when I read the verse above where God is speaking to His people Israel, my spirit said, “Yes, yes, that’s me. I’m a prisoner of hope.”

On the professional front, many of you know I’ve been working towards book publication for a long time. Yes, it’s been a period filled with work to help bring the dream to fruition, but even though it’s been an active time, it’s also been a waiting time. Waiting as I develop my craft. Waiting as I build an online presence. Waiting as I network. Waiting for the right time to seek an agent. And now my agent and I work and wait together for the right publishing deal to unfold.

Just a few weeks ago, my publication dream looked like it was finally going to become reality. We actually had a contract. But before we could get it finalized, economic difficulties forced the publisher to withdraw their new contract offers. My book deal disappeared before I could ever announce it.

In the face of this withdrawn contract, hope threatened to disappear as well. But instead, it was time to live out my faith. Time to put feet to my claims of wanting God’s will alone. Time to turn once again to my Fortress, my God, and fix my eyes on him. Time to continue being a prisoner of hope.

On the personal front, my husband and I have been waiting with our kids for years for God to bless them with a child. Like with me and my book publication dreams, this period has been an active time for them as well as they’ve worked towards making their dream come true. But in their situation, the waiting time outweighs active times. The whole experience can best be described as brutal. And we have been standing with them in prayer continually—and hurting with them as well through countless disappointments.

And yes, with each of their disappointments, hope threatens to disappear. Each time we must each one decide to lift our tear-stained eyes to our Fortress, our God, and continue to trust in him. We must choose to continue living our lives as prisoners of hope.

God is worthy of our trust, and he alone is our source of hope. Look at the last half of the verse above—“even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.” I believe not only does God want to bless us, but he wants to bless us abundantly.

How about you? Are you a prisoner of hope? Do you need to return to your fortress today and live out your continued trust and hope in God? You’re not alone. Let’s join our hands and walk our faith together.

“But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” Psalm 71:14

*What are you hoping for today?

*p.s. If you would be so kind, would you whisper a prayer for the situations I shared with you today? Thank you!

*Flickr photo by cabodevassoura, Creative Commons License

Comments

  1. Cheryl – So sorry to hear your pending book deal didn’t come to fruition, but as a “prisoner of hope” it’s lovely to read you are looking to the future for your publication dreams to come true. You know something, “Prisoner of Hope” would be a wonderful title for a book.

    • Thanks so much, Mairead. And I hadn’ t thought about how “Prisoner of Hope” would make a great book title. Hard to beat a phrase straight from the Word of God, huh? I like the way you think! I’ll have to add that idea to my list of possibilities for the future. Thanks for pointing it out!

  2. I’ve thought of you often in these past couple of weeks and how disappointed you must feel about everything. Surely, God will restore all that’s been lost and bring you eternal hope in the midst of despair. Surely He will. Sending love and prayers ~elaine

    • Elaine, thanks so much for the love and prayers. These disappointments have indeed been deep ones, but God is good — He has given the strength to weather them. Sure thankful He walks us through the deep stuff of life.

  3. God must have whispered my name to you because this is just what my hurting heart needed to hear/read. Thank you so much Cheryl. Joining hands and walking alongside you as well to bear these burdens together in faith. Many many many prayers for your precious family and your daughter and son in law. God has given me a special burden for them as I walk our similar road. blessings.

    • Emily, I’m so glad to hear that this post ministered to your hurting heart in a special way today. God is so good to give us special touches when we need them, isn’t He? And thank you so much for your prayers. I know your heart understands the depth of the burden. Praying for you and yours as well!

  4. Cheryl,

    Oh, I’m sorry about the backed out publisher. May you and your agent find another perfect fit for your book! Thinking about you too as your children wait for children of their own. May God bring that dream and request to happen.

    Re your comment on my post “What We Are Drawn to in Uncertain Times,” Cheryl, you would enjoy talking with them too, I can tell. :) Thank you for stopping in, for your warmth, and for your prayers.

    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

    • Jennifer, thanks so much for your encouraging words and prayers concerning the needs that I shared today. It helps to know that others care. I will continue to pray for your family in the uncertain days ahead. May God keep you all wrapped in His arms of love!

  5. To everything there is a season … but, oh, how it hurts to wait sometimes. I often think of Abraham and Sara. They weren’t always perfect during the wait, and even gave up from time to time, but God did come through on His promise for them. May all of your friends’ prayers and warmth lift up you and your family during the time of waiting.

  6. Powerful, powerful reminder for all of us, Cheryl. I’m so sorry to hear of your extended waiting times in such tender issues. I’m praying for you and your family for God’s perfect will to quickly unfold!

  7. cheryl what a great blog and verse. Your trust and faith is a witness and encouragement to many. God is faithful and I have know doubt He will bless you more than you can hope or imagine in His timing. Love you!

    • Debbie, thanks so much for your sweet message and encouragement. Thanks for standing in faith with me. Love you, too!!

      By the way, there are now two Debbies who have commented on this post as well as on other posts from time to time — you, my sister from AZ, and another special blog reader named Debbie. I’m thinking she’s from KY, but I may be remembering wrong. I’ve been known to do that :)

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