Resting in His Hands

DSC01800*My nephew Gavin’s photo in this encore post from June 2009 is certainly outdated (boy, has he grown!), but the message of the post still rings true. May it be a special blessing to you today!

Look closely. What do you see resting in my nephew Gavin’s hands? No, it’s not a little plastic toy. It’s a real, live lizard—a Missouri lizard that decided to accept Gavin’s friendly overture during our Memorial Day family gathering at Mom and Dad’s. In all honesty, I don’t know if there’s such a thing as a Missouri lizard, but since that’s where we were, it seems like a good name to me!

I came upon this scene exactly as you see it above. I never did hear the story of how this little guy ended up hanging out with Gavin, completely at ease while several of us drew near snapping photos. For whatever reason—whether he was simply content with a warm place to rest, scared to death, or maybe even sick — he decided to trust himself to Gavin’s caring hands.

Gavin certainly rose to the occasion, becoming very careful and attentive. Hands that busied themselves that weekend with everything from playing badminton to playing Wii to putting up bunny ears behind unsuspecting victims quieted themselves long enough to give refuge to another of God’s creatures. And both, I might add, seemed quite pleased with the arrangement.

Does a refuge sound pretty good to you about now? We all need one in our lives each and every day. Sometimes we just need a warm and loving place to rest, while at other times, fear consumes us and finds us desperate for a safe place, a shelter from all harm.

That shelter, that refuge, awaits us in the hands of God. It’s there for all who will accept His loving overtures, to all who will trust themselves to His tender and capable hands. If Gavin, in all his 7-yr. old glory, can provide a safe place for a little lizard, how much more will God, the Creator of the universe and the Lover of our souls, give refuge to all who will trust their lives to Him?

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to trust my mighty God, my heavenly Father. I’m going to rest in Him. I’m sure we’ll both be quite pleased with the arrangement. Join us, won’t you?

“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.” Psalm 62:1

*My photo

Prisoner of Hope While Waiting

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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. 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. As 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 in Zechariah—“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