I hope my children/grandchildren…

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I hope my children/grandchildren…

Since I haven’t children of my own, I hope you don’t mind if we change this prompt to read: I hope my nieces/nephews and their children…

And I have so many hopes. Many of them are the same for all of you; many of them are unique to each. Many of them, I pray for you, each day; many of them are unspeakable—not out of any secrecy or impropriety, but simply because I haven’t the words to articulate them. Here are some of my hopes for you—just a few of them that I think I can articulate:

  • That you would pursue the things that you are passionate about (God gave you those passions for a reason);
  • That you would allow yourself to dream big and dream often;
  • That you would have the courage to dream again, when you feel like your dreams have failed;
  • That you would make choices and follow through on them, even if the outcome is not exactly what you anticipated;
  • That you would read as many books as you can stand to read, and then read a few more;
  • That you would burn your first pancake, and not your second;
  • That you would try new things—even if they’re not the most important things to you (learning to kayak for the sake of learning to kayak is not going to kill you [most likely], so give it a try—who knows, you may enjoy it);
  • That you would be confident—neither arrogant nor insecure—in who God created you to be, realizing that you are both incredibly unique and incredibly the same as the rest of us;
  • That you would guard your heart and not fall in love before you’re ready to love;
  • That you would be trustworthy and loyal;
  • That you would know the challenge and the blessing of hard work;
  • That somewhere, someday, someone would butcher a cow for you, that you might have food all winter long;
  • That somewhere, someday, you would butcher a cow for someone, that he might have food all winter long;
  • That you would know how very much you are loved;
  • And that you would always come Home.

For the record, this list would not be any different if I were writing my hopes for my own children and grandchildren. In fact, these are my hopes for my siblings, also, and my mother and father, and my friends, and cousins, and aunts and uncles…

But before I sign off on this, I have to tell you one more thing.

I do not use the word “hope” to mean “wish.” Of course, in today’s world, we use it this way: We wish for something or desire that some event may occur—like, “Oh, I hope the Detroit Tigers win the World Series!” or “I hope it doesn’t snow all day.” In the Bible, we read the same word—hope—but its roots are deeper than wishes. The Greek word used in the New Testament was elpis. Vine’s[1] defines it as “favorable and confident expectation.”

But don’t think of expectations as in, “I expect you to take out the garbage.” Think of it more as that excitement when you know something is coming, as in, “I’m expecting to see most of my family at Christmastime!” (And I am…woohoo!)

That’s what I have for each of you: Favorable and confident expectations. I can’t wait to see how it all turns out.

All my love,

Aunt Sarah

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One thought on “I hope my children/grandchildren…

  1. Rom 5:1-5 ” Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has brought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory! We also boast of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope. This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us.”

    Good for you, Sarah – Paul’s eloquent Koiné Greek point us in a completely different direction than “a desire for something to happen or a general feeling that things will turn out well.” Paul’s hope is indeed a “confident expectation” – something to be relied upon – it’s going to happen! It’s a good thing these promises are up to our God, otherwise I would have brought them to reality by now, but I am sure His timing is better than mine.

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