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I Have This Hope - Kim Penny

I Have This Hope

If I am going to be honest, it has been a rough past couple of weeks.  I don’t need to go into intimate details, but essentially everything that could have gone wrong did; it was the perfect storm so to speak.  It started with a trip to the emergency room, which landed me in the hospital for 4 days.  I had a surgeon on call, monitoring my every move, ready to take me to the operating room in a moments notice.  If you know me, you know this wasn’t my first trip to the ER, but there was something different about this visit than others I have had in the past, because I wasn’t riddled with fear.  I knew from the second I walked into the emergency room and received my diagnosis that the Lord was going to spare me from surgery. How?! Because the Holy Spirit covered me with His peace, calmed my fears and told me this wouldn’t require an operation.  He promised to spare me from that particular pain. I trusted and believed Him, and chose to receive His words.

We all experience the peaks and valleys as we grow in our relationship with the Lord.  Trust me when I say, I have been in the valleys!  Thankfully, I have been encouraged this past year and have experienced a season of growth.  My relationship with the Lord has deepened and become more intimate as my desires have shifted from gaining things for myself versus glorifying God.  The verse from Galatians 1:10 has been ringing loud and clear in my head, convicting me:

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”

As I’ve truly desired to be in a relationship with Him, He has been teaching me how to discern His voice more clearly. In the past, my fear and unbelief continually drowned out the voice of the Holy Spirit as I allowed my thoughts to naturally travel down the road of “worst case scenarios”. More often than not, I judged my circumstances by what was seen and logical and not by what was unseen and under God’s control, which is the opposite of what God calls us to do in 2 Corinthians 4:18:

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Why was this ER visit different? Why did I have a peace?  I chose to fix my eyes on the unseen and what the Holy Spirit was telling me and not on the physical, present danger.  Was I in excruciating pain? Yes. Was I fearful? No.

Upon being released from the hospital, what became painstakingly obvious was not the discomfort and inconvenience which God allowed during those 4 days, but the more excruciating pain and destruction that He saved me from.  Yes, I was annoyed by the disruption my health caused in my life and the stress it put on my family, but God spared me from a horrific complicated abdominal surgery, additional pain and months of recovery, assuming there weren’t any complications from surgery.

The lessons I learned this past week became very real, tangible, humbling analogies of what He is constantly saving us from.

In my prayer life I find myself constantly asking God to do something for me, make things easier, or to fix something that is wrong.  What I don’t naturally do is Praise God and tell Him that I love Him.  He reiterated this lesson, through grace, by showering me with unscripted hugs and kisses and abnormal amounts of “I Love You Mommy” messages from my daughters when I returned home from the hospital.  The pure love that flowed from their hearts made my heart swell and reminded me exactly how God feels when we simply tell Him how much we love Him, without expecting anything in return.  When we tell Him we love him, just because we do, it gives Him no greater joy.

On the way home from the hospital, the Tenth Avenue North song, “I Have This Hope”, came on the radio and the lyrics couldn’t have been more perfect.  The words brought my emotions to life and perfectly depicted the journey my heart had been on:

As I walk this great unknown
Questions come and questions go
Was there purpose for the pain?
Did I cry these tears in vain?

I don’t want to live in fear
I want to trust that You are near
Trust Your grace can be seen
In both triumph and tragedy

I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go

But sometimes my faith feels thin
Like the night will never end
Will You catch every tear
Or will You just leave me here?

But I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go

So, whatever happens I will not be afraid
Cause You are closer than this breath that I take
You calm the storm when I hear You call my name
I still believe that one day I’ll see Your face

I have this hope
In the depth of my soul
In the flood or the fire
You’re with me and You won’t let go

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