Sitting on Hope
By Jacqi Ballough
“What is Hope?” the little girl asked.
My mind laughed at the irony in the question. What my heart and mind yearned to say at that moment was far more than this little eight-year-old could handle. Therefore, I answered, “Hope is the hope-chest my father built for my college graduation present. It sits at the foot of my bed. Sometimes we need to go sit on Hope to think about our words and actions, how they affect us and the people around us.”
Only moments before, I had asked my son to “go sit on Hope.” As parents, my husband and I discovered Hope was a savior to our parenting difficulties. We don’t have all the answers and sometimes need a break ourselves to sit on the hope Christ gives us. He tells us in the Bible to pray for wisdom, to regard our children as holy, not to discourage them with harsh words or anger, but to build them up and train them up to know Him.
The times when we send our son to Hope are the very times we are seeking the hope in God’s promises, because parenting is tough. You definitely have to put your selfish ambitions aside and deny the fleshly responses to the insurmountable inconveniences that can crop up throughout the day. Bad attitude. Lack of self-control. Pride. Mischievous antics. Disobedience. Laziness. The list can go on.
Many times these short breaks of “sitting on Hope” help us reflect on our actions, in light of our knowledge of Christ and his teachings. As parents (and humans in general), we have to take time to seek wisdom on how to respond to different situations. Sometimes it is as simple as praying to God as a family, seeking His forgiveness, and finding a better way to respond next time. Kids and adults alike need to be taught and then sent off to try again. But other times, if warnings and teachings have been ignored, there are more extreme consequences leading to privileges being revoked or extra work to be had.
So what really is hope? Hope is faith in the promises of that which we can’t see. Webster’s dictionary defines hope as “a cherished desire with anticipation of fulfillment; to expect and want with confidence.”
What is my hope? My hope is in Christ, my Redeemer. My hope is that I honor him by my actions and fulfill my God-given purpose, that my husband and I raise up the son he gave us to glorify His name and carry His Word to all nations; and that our son will be equipped to carry out the purpose God has for his life by the time he leaves our home to begin his own.
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have HOPE.”Romans 15:4
What is your hope?