When hard times come and the future is uncertain, it is easier to put 100% of our hope in God... frankly, because nothing on Earth is holding out much promise of hope during those lowest-of-low points, so what do we have to lose by crying out to God to save us? Help us? Give us a hope and a future?
But then, something appears on the horizon - the prospect of a longed for relationship, a needed job possibility, a remedy or diagnosis for our physical pain, something that appears to be an answer to our problems. It may or may not be from God, it is too soon to tell, but it provides a tangible alternative for our hope, and how easy it is to stop trusting in God and start holding out for hope in that which is visible.
This fight is harder than we want to admit. This inward battle of the soul and mind. We know that God is where our hope resides, yet we don't know what He has in store for us, and if we see the slightest glimmer of something concrete that might improve our situation, we loosen the lasso of our hope from our Creator and hitch it to the closest shooting star to see how far it will take us. We don't reject God completely, of course, we just put him on a shelf and "use Him" for other, lesser forms of comfort; planning subconsciously, if not consciously, to get back to fully trusting Him just as soon as this latest glimmer plays itself out.
It is exciting, chasing a glimmer. Except when it isn't. Except when we find that the thing/person/position/answer we thought was concrete was actually an illusion. Either it didn't make itself available to us, or it did but then disappointed us - jumping off the other side of our see-saw while we were still high in the air, sending us crashing back to reality. That is when we come grovelling back (if we are wise). Admitting once again that the world only has false hope to offer, that the only One who can thrill and sustain for the long haul is God.
It reminds me of Lucy holding that blasted football for Charlie Brown. Imploring him to come kick it. He KNOWS she will disappoint him, humiliate him, HURT him by pulling it away at the last minute; but he can't resist. It is right there in front of him and he can see it... unlike his dignity, unlike his sense of worth, which can be illusive.
I've come to the conclusion that this is just how it is. Just how it is going to be until the day we die. A FIGHT. A daily fight to pry our own grip from things and people - even good things and people - that consume our thoughts with the potential hope that they hold out. We must daily walk the tightrope of exploring the glimmers of hope that appear without allowing them to consume us. God will not be "used." He is not "an" answer, He is THE answer.
So here's to fighting the good fight! Here's to being grateful for the glimmers but indebted to the True Source of Light.
Psalm 25:4-5 NIV, "Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long."
Carla Ritz. Proof positive that God uses cracked pots!